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ED 386 555 



CE 069 777 



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Kister, Joanna; And Others 

Family Relations Resource Guide. A Resource for 
Teaching the Family Relations Core Course Area of 
Ohio's Work and Family Life Program. 
Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Vocational Instructional 
Materials Lab. 

Ohio State Dept. of Education, Columbus. Div. of 

Vocational and Adult Education. 

95 

294p.; For related guides, see ED 362 715-716, ED 375 
287-288, and CE 069 778. 

Vocational Instructional Materials Lab, Center on 
Education and Training for Employment, 1900 Kenny 
Road, Columbus., OH 43210-1090 (order no. WFL-05: 
$25) . 

Guides - Classroom Use - Teaching Guides (For 
Teacher) (052) 

MF01/PC12 Plus Postage. 

Behavioral Objectives; Family Life; ''Tamily Life 
Education; 'Tamily Relationship; Family Role; 'Tamily 
Work Relationship; ''*Home Management; Instructional 
Materials; Interpersonal Communication; Interpersonal 
Competence; Leadership Responsibility; Learning 
Activities; Learning Modules; ''^Problem Solving; 
Secondary Education; State Curriculum Guides; Student 
Evaluation 



ABSTRACT 

This resource guide provides those teaching the 
Family Relations course of the Ohio Work and Family Life Program an 
overview of the course content, teacher background information, 
learning activities, and assessment ideas. It has one teaching module 
for each process competency and each content competency in the Family 
Relations and Process Competency units of the Occupational Competency 
Analysis Profile (OCAP) . These modules appear in this guide in the 
same order in which the competencies are listed in the OCAP* The 
learning activities are written from the students' perspective, but 
teacher notes are included to assist teachers in conducting 
activities. The four process modules are as follows: managing work 
and family responsibilities, solving personal and family problems, 
relating to others, and assuming a leadership role. The eight content 
modules cover the following subjects: analyzing the significance of 
families; nurturing human development; forming one's own family; 
building and maintaining healthy family relationships; developing 
family communication patterns; dealing with stress, conflicts, and 
crises; managing work and family roles and responsibilities ; and 
analyzing social forces affecting families. Each module consists of 
these components: module overview, including practical problem, 
process competency, competency builders, and supporting concepts; 
teacher background information with rationale, background, and list 
of references; learning activities; assessment (paper and pencil, 
classroom experiences, and application to real-life settings); and 
handouts. (YLB) 



VO 
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FAMILY 
RELATIONS 
RESOURCE 
GUIDE 




Work and 
Family Life Program 



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ERIC 



, / CENTER (ERIC) 

originaling il. 
□ Minor changes have been made to 
improve reproduction quality 

oflicialOER) position or policy 



■PERMISSION TO REPRODUCE THIS 
MATERIAL HAS BEEN GRANTED BY 



TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES 
INFORMATION CENTER (ERIC)." 



BEST COPY AVAILABLE 




HOME ECONOMICS 



2 



Family Relations Resource Guide 



A Resource for Teaching the Family Relations 
Core Course /iLirea of 
Ohio^s Work and Family Life Program 



Joanna Kister, Assistant Director 
Ohio Department of Education 
Division of Vocational and Adult Education 



Sandra Laurenson, Supervisor 
Ohio Department of Education 
Division of Vocational and Adult Education 



Heather Boggs 
Vocational Education Consultant 
The Ohio State University 



1995 

Additional copies of this resource guide are available from 
The Ohio State University 
Vocational Instructional Materials Laboratory 
1900 Kenny Road 
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1016 
(614) 292-4277 



This publication was supported by federal funds of Public Law 101-392, the Carl D. Perkins Vocational 
Education and Applied Technology Act Amendments of 1990, distributed by the Ohio Department of 
Education, Division of Vocational and Adult Education. 

It is the policy of The Ohio State University to offer educational activities, employment practices, pro- 
grams, and services without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, handicap, or age. 



CONTENTS 



Preface v 

Introduction 1 

Process Modules 

1. Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 5 

2. Solving Personal and Family Problems 15 

3. Relating to Others • 39 

4. Assuming a Leadership Role 57 

Content Modules 

1. Analyzing the Significance of Families 77 

2. Nurturing Human Development 101 

3. Forming One's Own Family 125 

4. Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 159 

5. Developing Family Communication Patterns 183 

6. Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 221 

7. Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 247 

8. Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 267 



ERLC 



The mission of Ohio Family and Consumer Sciences programs is to prepare youth and 
adults for the work of the family. The ultimate aim of Family and Consunier Sciences is 
to strengthen families, empowering individuals to take action for the well-being of self 
and others in the home, workplace, community, and world. Our society depends on 
strong families. Strong families nurture individuals, serve as their first teachers, instill 
values and standards of behavior, and provide human resources for the work force. 
Unfortunately, statistics with regard to divorce, teen pregnancy, poverty, and family 
violence suggest that this important institution is in danger. Ohio Family and Consumer 
Sciences programs can provide much needed support for individuals by empowering 
them to take responsibility for the well-being of their families. 

The Ohio Work and Family Life Program is based upon what students need to know, 
to be able to do, and to be like in order to be competent in the work of the family. 
The curriculum engages students in practical problem solving — including practical 
reasoning — to clarify personal and family issues, evaluate alternative choices and their 
consequences, develop criteria and standards for making ethical choices, and take action 
based on the consequences for self, family, and others. The four process skills listed 
below, which are essential to competence in the work of the family, are taught in each 
Work and Family Life course: 

Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 
Solving Personal and Family Problems 
Relating to Others 

Assuming a Leadership Role as a Responsible Citizen 

There are six core course areas of the Work and Family Life Program that reflect the 
practical, perennial problems faced by families. The six resource guides listed below 
provide assistance to teachers in implementing each core course area of the program. 

Personal Development (1993 release) 
Resource Management (1993 release) 
Life Planning (1994 release) 
Nutrition and Wellness (1994 release) 
Family Relations (1995 release) 
Parenting ( 1 995 release) 

Ohio's Competency Analysis Profile (OCAP) was developed to identify competencies 
required for each of the process skills and for each of the six course areas. These compe- 
tencies were designed to enable learners to reason through practical problems and take 
action that is best for self and others. This competency list is available from The Ohio 
State University, Vocational Instructional Materials Laboratory, 19(X) Kenny Road, 
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1016 (614/292-4277). 



The Family Relations Resource Guide reflects the expertise of many individuals, 
including teachers, curriculum specialists, and Ohio Department of Education staff. In 
June 1994, a team of teachers and content specialists met to begin developing the 
modules appearing in this guide. Their commitment to this curriculum project is to be 
commended. The team members were 

Debra Damron, Liberty-Benton High School 
Anita Eldridge, Morgan High School 
Krista Hagelberger, Fort Loramie High School 
Karen Hardman, Central Hower High School 
Pat Inman, Jefferson Area High School 
Linda Madaffer, Riverdale High School 
Bonnie Short, Hilliard High School 
Leann Thacker, Carlisle High School 
. Emma Yanok, Westerville North High School 
Teresa Yontz, Springfield South High School 
Sue Coady, The Ohio State University 

Joyce Fittro, Delaware County Ohio State University Extension 
Christine Kate, Miami University 

Kathy McWilliams, Family Life Education, Cleveland Public Schools 

Special recognition is extended to the professionals listed below, who gave willingly of 
their time, knowledge, and skills in developing the resource guide. 

Dr. Barbara M. Newman, Professor of Family Relations and Human Develop- 
ment and Dr. Philip R. Newman, Adjunct Processor of Home Economics 
Education and Senior Researcher, both of The Ohio State University, wrote the 
teacher background information for the content modules. 

Dr. Janet Laster, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Department 
of Home Economics Education, wrote teacher background information for the 
process modules and critically reviewed many learning activities. 

Dr. Gail Henderson, Director of Vocational, Career, and Adult Education, 
Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, Virginia, reviewed module drafts. 

Emily Gibbs, Instructor, Delaware Joint Vocational School, wrote the teacher 
background information for Process Module 1 : Managing Work and Family 
Responsibilities. 



vi 



7 



The following teachers in a program planning course at The Ohio State University 
contributed to the development of the process modules. 



Kay Miller, Big Walnut High School 
Diane Knipp, Wapakoneta High School 
Yvonne Kemock, Lincoln- West High School 
Jane Eiden, Northland High School 
Karen Eales, National Trail High School 
Fran Obarski, Medina Senior High School 
Sue Mclnturf, Williamsburg High School 
Karen Higgins, Loveland High School 

Kathy Kush, Center on Education and Training for Employment, The Ohio State 
University, provided technical assistance in formatting the resource guide. 

In addition, many Family and Consumer Sciences teachers throughout Ohio reviewed and 
provided suggestions for the development of modules for this resource guide. Their time 
and energy, which contributed greatly to the curriculum project, are much appreciated. 



vii 



INTRODUCTION 



The Ohio Work and Family Life Program, a secondary Family and Consumer Sciences 
program, is based upon what students need to know, be able to do, and be like in order to 
be competent in the demanding, challenging, and changing work of the family. The 
curriculum for the program includes the development of the process skills of managing 
work and family life, solving personal and family problems, relating to others, and 
assuming a leadership role as a responsible citizen. The course content is focused on six 
areas that reflect the practical, perennial problems faced as part of the work of the family. 
These six areas are 

• Personal Development • Nutrition and Wellness 

• Resource Management • Family Relations 

• Life Planning • Parenting 

The Family Relations Resource Guide provides those teaching the Family Relations 
course an overview of the course content, teacher background information, learning 
activities, and assessment ideas. This guide has one teaching module for each process 
competency and each content competency in the Family Relations and Process Compe- 
tency units of the OCAP. These modules appear in this guide in the same order in which 
the competencies are listed in the OCAP. The learning activities are written from the 
students' perspective, but teacher notes are included to assist teachers in conducting 
activities. 



An integral part of the curriculum is reasoning through problems by identifying personal 
and family values, obtaining adequate information for problem solving, and critically 
evaluating alternative solutions and their consequences for self and others. Once a 
student has reasoned through and decided on a course of action, the emphasis is on 
developing the skills necessary to take that action, leading to the significant outcome of 
responsible behavior in interpersonal, family, school, community, and work settings. 

The Family Relations core course area focuses on the practical, perennial problem, "What 
should I do to build strong families?" Table 1 illustrates how each module in the resource 
guide focuses on a specific practical problem related to strengthening families. The 
practical problems are posed through case studies and shared experiences, and examined 
using critical questions that will lead to ethical decisions and reasoned action. 

Because of the nature of the content of this course, it is imperative to actively seek input 
and involvement of parents and community members regarding curriculum decisions. An 
active Work and Family Life Program Advisory Committee can be an excellent resource 
in this capacity. Parents are the first and primary teachers for their children. Therefore, 
instruction should supplement and support what is learned in the students* homes and 
families. Specific topics for discussion and learning activities should be selected with an 
awareness of value systems represented in the community, as well as the cultural and 
socioeconomic diversity of the student population. 

ERIC ' 9 




Table 1 

Practical Problems Posed in the Family Relations Core Course Area 


Content 
ivioauic 


Pracliicai 
jrruDiCiii rovus 


Practical Problem-Solving Questions 
/\uurv99t?u A iiruugii LfCS. iimg j&xpenencea 


. I 


What should I do 
about the significance 
of families? 


What is the significance of strong families for individuals and for society? 

What should be the role of families in today's society? 

How should the significance of families guide my actions as a family member? 


2 


What should I do 
about nurturing 
nuiiiiln ucvciupiiiciii . 


Why is it important to nurture family members? 

What criteria should I use to determine how best to nurture family members? 

WliJit ctrntPCTiPc cfirtiilH T iic** tc\ niirtiir** tVi** Hf*\/f*lr»r\TTi**nt r»f familv/ m**mK<*rc 
TV iiai ou at^^i^o diiv^uiu i UdC i\J nut lUl c liic UCVdUUiiicill KJl lalilll y liidiiUd o 

throughout the life cycle? 


3 


What should I do 

aHr\iit fir\rmin(y mv 
aUKJUl iKJlilllil^ iiiy 

own family? 


What factors influence readiness for marriage? For parenting? 

^Vh^^t critpriji ^hniilH T ii^p fn Hptprminp rpaHinp^^ fnr matTij^typ*? 

For parenting? 


4 


What should I do 

QV\/^iit Hiiilrlincy f^^itltViv 
aC/OUl L/Uliuiliu iii^aiiiiy 

family relationships? 


What are the characteristics of healthy families? 

AA/T^j3t ctrntPtripc pan T iicp tr* KtiilH n ctmntr familv/*? 
TT iiai ouai&^i&o call i UdC \\j UUllU a oUKJll^ Idlllllj : 

What skills do I need to build a strong family? 


5 


What should I do 
about family commu- 
nication? 


Why is good communication important in families? 

What factors influence family communication patterns? 

What strategies should I use to communicate with family members? 


6 


What should I do 
about family stress, 
conflicts, and crises? 


What are the consequences of family stress, conflicts, and crises? 

What strategies should I use to deal with family stress, conflicts, and crises? 

What actions can I take to prevent or minimize stress, conflicts, and crises? 


7 ^ 


What should I do about 
managing work and 
family roles and 
responsibilities? 


What is the significance of the interconnectedness of work and family life? 
What factors impact the relationship between work and family life? 
What strategies should I use to balance work and family responsibilities? 


8 


What should I do 
about social forces 
affecting families? 


What are the consequences of various social forces affecting families? 
What actions should I take to promote the well-being of families in soci'»^ty? 



It is also important to consider the family experiences of students in the course and to 
modify learning activities where necessary. Though appropriate persor-l reflection is 
important to meaningful learning, students should not be asked to disclose personal 
information they are unwilling to share with others. If many of the students in the course 
come from troubled families, they will need examples of positive interaction to grasp the 
concept of strong families. Simulated classroom experiences and ej(amples from litera- 
ture and media sources will contribute to meaningful learning about caring, respectful 
relationships important to families. 

The four process modules in the Family Relations Resource Guide are intended to be 
taught together as an introduction to the Family Relations course. It is recommended that 



Process Module 1, Managing Work and Family Responsibilities be taught first in the 
sequence of modules. The remaining three process modules should soon follow as the 
learning activities in these modules begin the development of several important concepts 
and skills, and introduce ongoing learning activities that students will continue through- 
out the course. Table 2 outlines the specific goals of each process module. 

Students may have a variety of experience with these process skills, depending on the 
Work and Family Life courses taken previously to Family Relations, Since the process 
skills involve complex higher order thinking skills, they develop gradually over time. 
Students may be in varying stages of skill development. Teachers may assess students' 
level of understanding and modify the learning activities to meet students' needs. The 
learning activities in the modules are designed specifically for students to examine the 
process skills as they relate to the study of family relations. 

To develop the knowledge and skills important to strengthening families, three 
ongoing learning experiences have been included in the resource guide learning 
activities. These experiences are centered around the various practical problems 
related to strengthening families and provide an opportunity to enhance the 
practical application of family relations knowledge and skills. These three 
learning experiences are outlined on the next page. 



Table 2 

Family Relations Resource Guide 
Overview of Process Modules 


Module 


Knowledge and Skills 


Classroom Environment 


Ma.iaging Work 
and Family 
Responsibilities 


The work of the family 
Importance of studying families 


Introduce the four process skills: managing work 
and faihily responsibilities, solving personal and 
family problems, relating to others, and assuming 
a leadership role. 

Provide an overview of the Family Relations 
Course. 


Solving 
Personal and 
Family 
Problems 


Personal and family problems 
Practical problem-solving process 


Begin Reflection Notebook assignment. 


Relating to 
Others 


Caring, respectful relationships 
Constructive expression of 
feeling* needs, and ideas 
Conflict management 


Relate classroom behavior guidelines (classroom 

rules) to caring and respectful relationships. 
Establish Family Relations Research Teams. 


Assuming a 
Leadership 
Role 


Cooperation 
Leadership 
Citizenship 
Planning process 


Establish FHA/HERO cocurricular chapter. 
Introduce Action Projects. 



1 . Family Relations Research Teams. An important goal of the Family Relations class 
is to help students develop skill in working cooperatively within groups. Skills such 
as communicating, resolving conflict, setting and working toward group goals, and 
fostering group cooperation can be learned and practiced in cooperative learning 
groups during the course. These skills, once developed, can help students develop 
strong families and strong communities. An FHA/HERO chapter, established as part 
of the class, can provide an excellent opportunity for small group interaction. In 
addition, the learning activities incorporate the use of Family Relations Research 
Teams as base groups for cooperative learning assignments throughout the semester. 
Cooperative learning strategies have been incorporated into the learning experiences 
throughout the guide. Student groups should be selected to reflect the diversity of the 
student population. 

2. Reflection Notebook. This assignment provides an opportunity to reflect on family 
relations topics and issues studied in class, as well as to read and react to magazine, 
newspaper, and journal articles about family relations topics. 

3. Action Projects. These projects provide opportunities to apply what is learned in 
Family Relations class to real-life settings. Action Projects should be chosen based 
on student interest and needs. Each project should focus on a practical problem 
related to strengthening families. Parents, classmates, teachers, and community 
members may be involved in the planning and implementation of the project, depend- 
ing on the project focus. 

Instructional time spent on each module will vary during an 18-week course according to 
the students' educational needs. Though the learning activities were designed for a 
semester course, there are more than enough activities for this time period. Activities 
should be selected or modified to meet student and community needs. Pari of the 18- 
week period can be spent further developing the competencies identified, or addressing 
other topics as identified by the local program advisory committee. 

The materials in these guides, as those in the guides previously published for the Work 
and Family Life program were designed specifically for classroom use by teachers. 
Permission has been granted by both internal and external sources to copy materials for 
students. 

For additional information regarding the philosophy and implementation of the Work and 
Family Life Program and the format, use, and implementation of each of the six resource 
guides, please refer to the Work and Family Life Program Implementation Guide, avail- 
able from the Ohio Department of Education, Division of Vocational and Adult Educa- 
tion, Family and Consumer Sciences, 65 S. Front Street, Room 909, Columbus, Ohio 
43215-4183(614-466-3046). 



Family Relations 



Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



PROCESS 
MODULE 



Module Overview 



Practical 
Problem: 



What should I do about managing work and family responsibilities? 



Process 

Competency 0.0.1: Manage work and family responsibilities for the well-being of self and 
others 

Competency 

Builders: 0.0. 1 . 1 Explore the meaning of work and the meaning of family* 

0.0. 1 .2 Compare how work life is affected by families and how families are 

affected by work life** 
0.0. 1 .3 Identify management strategies for balancing work and family roles** 

* This competency builder is further developed in Content Module 1 : Analyzing the Significance of Families. 
**These competency builders are covered in Content Module 7: Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities. 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



1 . The meaning of family 

2. The meaning of work 



Teacher Note: Since the four process competencies of managing work and family responsibilities, 
solving personal and family problems, relating to others, and assuming a leadership role represent skills 
essential to strong families, the four process modules introducing these skills should be taught at the 
beginning of the Family Relations course. Refer to Overview of the FamUy Relations Resource 
Guide Process Modules (p. 3) to determine which process modules establish projects and activities 
that will continue throughout the course, such as Action Projects, FHA/HERO activities, and coopera- 
tive learning groups. It is recommended that this module be taught first in the sequence of the four 
process modules. The remaining three can he sequenced as appropriate to specific classroom settings. 

Since the content of the process competencies remains relatively unchanged over the six core course 
areas of the Work and Family Life program, the teacher background information is the same as that 
printed in previous guides. The learning activities, however, have been designed specifically for this 
course area and complement the content modules found in the rest of the guide. 



1 



c 



m 

PROCESS t \ 



Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



MODULE y 



Teacher Background Information 



V 



Rationale 



Society depends on two constants for its survival: family systems and work (Felstehausen & Schultz, 
1991). Though these two systems have always been interconnected in numerous ways, the nature of each 
system and the way in which they harmonize and conflict have changed greatly in the last few decades. 
Increasing numbers of single-parent and dual-income families, changes in work and family roles, differ- 
ences between employer and family expectations, and changes in lifestyles have created new perspectives 
on the relationship between work and family life. The problem of competing work and family demands is 
an issue not only for family members but for the economy as well. Society cannot be optimally productive 
unless the needs of employer and employees are accommodated. 

A resolution passed by the American Vocational Association in 1992 recognized the family as the first 
teacher and the first setting in which children learn about work: "The labor force is produced and affected 
by families and there is a relationship between family functioning and work productivity." The resolution 
urges that there be recognition of the value of a strong family unit and the ccntribution it makes to the work 
force and economy. It further states that the curriculum of all vocational education programs should 
include appreciation for the interrelationship of family and work. 

With an understanding of work and family roles, students will be better prepared to make informed choices 
regarding their future career and family development. Before making career decisions, students should 
think about the impact of their career choice on their future family. Increased knowledge of the intercon- 
nectedness of work and family will enable students to increase their productivity, thereby strengthening the 
nation's economy and encouraging business, industry, and government policies to enhance the well-being 
of families. An appreciation of the important balance between work and family systems can enrich family 
life and contribute to success in the world of work, and most importantly, allow individuals to lead happier, 
more satisfying lives. 

Background 

Though the word work is often associated with paid employment outside the home, it is used in contexts 
that imply a wide variety of meanings. These meanings can be classified into two groups: 

1. Work may refer to a product, such as a good, service, thing, or idea that results from human 
effort and has economic, social, and/or personal value to individuals, families, or society. 

2. Work may also be a process, or the human action or activity itself. This kind of work refers to 
deliberate action directed toward accomplishing a particular goal. 

In either context, work can be a source of personal satisfaction — a place to go to interact with other people, 
a way to enhance personal development, or a means of earning money to buy things. In fact, the activities 



6 



14 



Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



/" PROCESS 1 N 
V MODULE ^ J 

that happen in a fan^ily may be considered "work." The work of the family can include nurturing other 
family members, creating or obtaining resources for use by family members, or creating and maintaining 
a living space for the family. 

Students are workers, whether they are employed or not. School and extracurricular activities involve 
many of the same responsibilities, time commitments, and conflicts with personal and family life as paid 
employment. Adolescents are also engaged in the work of the family, with increasing responsibility for 
family resources and the care of other family members as they make strides toward their own indepen- 
dence. 

Each day, more American families join the ranks of the dual- worker or single-parent family. This trend, 
as evidenced by the statistics below, contributes to the complexity of balancing work and family responsi- 
bilities. 

• Less than ten percent of American families fit the traditional model represented by two parents, a 
wage-earning husband, and a homemaker wife.* 

• Among two-parent families, nearly 80 percent are classified as dual-earner.* 

• Since 1960, the number of mothers with children under the age of five working outside the home 
has increased from 15 percent to over 60 percent. 

- • In 1990, 57.5 percent of women over age 16 participated in the labor force. 

• Between 80 and 85 percent of all the children in America will be growing up in the homes of 
working mothers. 

Work does not exist in a vacuum, nor do individuals and families (Jorgensen & Henderson, 1990). 
Families do affect the workplace. According to a 1985 Boston University study, neariy one half of the 
employees interviewed associated depression at work with the strain of holding a job and raising a family 
at the same time. Workers who experience basically stable home environments with minimum frustrations 
are generally more dependable, productive workers. Basic skills and abilities learned at home are carried 
over into the work worid. The workplace, in turn, affects families. Direct results of employment, such as 
income, economic benefits, and job satisfaction, clearly affect family life. 

Balancing life to include an equitable distribution of time and energy for career, relationships, and self is 
often a difficult task. Women who work outside the home still assume the major responsibility for the 
home and family (Couch, 1989). Men are struggling to grow more comfortable with shared family life. 
Just as women should not be denied the opportunity for a self-fulfilling, challenging career, men should 
not be deprived of fatherhood and a life apart from their careers. 

The most common stressors involved in balancing work and family responsibilities are overload and 
interf'erence (Voyandoff & Kelly, 1984). Overioad is experienced when the number of responsibilities for 
one or more roles is greater than the individual can handle adequately or comfortably. Interference exists 

♦These statistics have been updated from previous resource guides. ' 



ERIC 



10 




Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



C PROCESS i A 
MODULE 1 J 



when responsibilities conflict and individuals are required to do two things at the same time. Family- 
related demands such as large family size, conflicts within the family, low spousal support, managing 
household tasks, finding quality day care, and managing time, stress, and energy are all related to conflict 
situations in balancing work and family life (Felstehausen, Glosson, & Couch, 1986; Greenhaus & 
Beutell, 1985). Family changes such as divorce, death, new relationships, and increased expenses are also 
associated with work and family conflicts (Voyandoff & Kelly, 1984), 



The way in which families balance work and family life varies from one family to the next. The balance 
depends on the family's values and goals. To help achieve a healthy balance between work and family 
life, families need to learn to develop strategies for time management, high-quality family communica- 
tion, stress management, delegation and prioritization of family work, and support systems (Jorgens^n & 
Henderson, 1990), Flexible occupations and work hours, careful timing of family role demands, mutual 
support, understanding, consideration, and cooperation are also strategies for helping to alleviate conflicts 
between work and family life (Gupta & Jenkins, 1985). 

Developing a balance between work and family is an important life task. Essential are strategies for 
managing time, energy, and money. The degree of success in creating this balance contributes to the 
happiness and well-being of today's family and leads to increased productivity and job satisfaction in the 
workplace. 

References 



Couch, A. S. (1989). Career and family: The modem worker's balancing act, Vocar/ona/ Education 
Journal, 64 (6), 24-27. 

Felstehausen, G., Glosson, L, R„ & Couch, A. S, (1986). A study to determine the relationship between 
the workplace and the home. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University. 

Felstehausen, G., & Schultz, J. B. (1991), (Eds.) Work and family: Educational implications, Ptoria^lL: 
Glencoe. 

Greenhaus, J. H„ & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of conflict between work and family roles. Academy 
of Management Review, /O (1), 76-88. 

Gupta, N., & Jenkins, G. D., Jr. (1985). Dual-career couples: Stress, stressors, strains, and strategies. In 
T. A. Beehr & R. S. Bhagat (Eds.), Human stress and cognition in organization: An integrated perspec- 
tive. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 

Jorgensen, S, R., & Henderson, G. H. (1990). Dimensions of family life. Cincinnati, OH: Southwestern 
Publishing. 

U, S, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics ( 1 992), Work and family: Part-time employment 
transitions among young women. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Labor, 



ERIC 



xb 



Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



1. The meaning 
of family 



r PROCESS t A 
V MODULE ^ J 



Learning Activities 



Design a bulletin board entitled, 'The Building Blocks of Family Life: Strong 
Families Need a Strong Foundation," that displays the shape of a building sur- 
rounded by pictures of families (include families from a variety of cultures that 
represent various family forms). List words or phrases that describe a strong 
family. Share your list with the class and compile a list of these words or phrases 
on the chalkboard. Read The Building Blocks of Family Life (p. 13). Write 
each of the four skills on a building block. Describe how the list of words and 
phrases listed on the chalkboard relates to each of the four skills. As each skill is 
discussed, place the building block on the foundation of the building pictured on 
the bulletin board. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why are families important to you? To your community? To society? 

• Why is each of the skills identified in the above activity important to families? 

• What are the advantages of learning these skills? 

• In what ways do you already possess some skills in these areas? In what ways 
could you improve your present skills to prepare to build a strong family? 



Teacher Note: This series of activities is designed to introduce the four 
process skills in relation to the work of the family. The meaning of the term 
family will be further developed in Content Module 1 : Analyzing the 
Significance of Families. 



b. Select a colored block from a box. Find other class members who have a simi- 
larly colored block and form small groups. Make a list of issues facing families 
today. Write the issues on pieces of red construction paper cut to look like bricks. 
Take turns having each group add a brick to the bulletin board designed for the 
previous activity. Once all the family issues are added to the building over the 
foundation of process skills, discuss the consequences of families facing these 
issues with and without a strong foundation of the four process skills: managing 
work and family responsibilities, solving personal and family problems, relating 
to others, and assuming a leadership role. 

Examine the syllabus or course outline for your Family Relations class and relate 
the units of study to the process skills and issues faced by families identified in 
the previous activities. 




ERIC 



9 




Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



C PROCESS 1 ^ 
MODULE ^ J . 



Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to learn more about families? 

• Wfiat issues on the syllabus are most important to you? Why? 

• What are your expectations for this course? 

d. Watch television programs about families and find at least two examples of 
behavior that illustrate each of the four process skills. In pairs, share your 
findings. 

e. Action Project: Keep a record of your family's activities for one week. At the 
end of the week classify the activities according to the four process skills. 
Reflect on the importance of these skills to your family, using questions such as 
those listed below. 



(1) What is the most important thing your family does for you? 

(2) What is the most important thing you do for your family? 

(3) Which process skills are most evident in the work of your family? Least 
evident? 

(4) What are the consequences of these skills for you? Your family? Your 
community? 



Identify phrases that include the word work, such as those listed below, and write 
them on the chalkboard or an overhead transparency. In small groups, research 
definitions for the word in a dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus, textbook, or 
other classroom resources. Post the definitions in the classroom and note simi- 
larities and differences. 

(1) Good work! 

(2) It was her life's work. 

(3) That was hard work. 

(4) Where do you work? 

(5) Get to work! 

(6) I'm working on it. 

b. In small groups, choose one of the following categories and list examples of 
work tasks that take place in that setting. Share your lists and explain how they 
illustrate the definitions of work researched in the previous activity. Circle work 
tasks that you have done. Share your feelings about doing different types of 
work in different settings. 



2. The meaning a. 
of work 



18 

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Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 




C PROCESS 1 ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



(1) Workplace 

(2) Family 

(3) Community 

(4) School 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is work important in our lives? 

• How does work contribute to your self-formation? 

• What are the consequences of doing work in these settings? 

• Who is responsible for doing these work tasks? 

Write the phrase, "The Work of the Family" on the chalkboard. Review the four 
process skills and explain how these skills might be used in the work of the 
family. 

Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook about the meaning of work in 
your life. Use the questions below to guide your reflection. 

(1) What type of work do you do now? What type will you do in the future? 

(2) What is the most meaningful work that you do? Why? 

(3) Is it possible to be engaged in work that is not meaningful? Why or 
why not? 

(4) How can you choose work that will improve your life and the lives of others? 



Teacher Note: The reflection notebook assignment is explained in Activity 3c 
of Process Module 2, Solving Personal and Family Problems. 



Action Project: Interview families at different life cycle stages, asking them to 
describe the work of the family. Classify the responses according to the four 
process skills. Note similarities and differences between the work of families at 
various stages. Present your findings to the class. 



19 

11 




Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



C PROCESS 1 "\ 
MODULE ^ J 



Assessment 

Paper and Pencil 



1 . Without the aid of references, write a paragraph that describes why the skills of managing work and 
family responsibilities, solving personal and family problems, relating to others, and assuming a 
leadership role are important to families. 



Classroom Experiences 

1. Watch television programs about families and find at least two examples of behavior that illustrate 
each of the four process skills. In pairs, share your findings. 

2. Write a journal entry about the meaning of work in your life. 



Application to Realt*Life Settings 

1 . Keep a record of your family's activities for one week. At the end of the week, classify the activities 
according to the four process skills. Reflect on the importance of these skills to your family. 

2. Interview families at different life cycle stages, asking them to describe the work of the family. 
Classify the responses according to the four process skills. Note similarities and differences between 
the work of families at various stages. Present your findings to the class. 



12 



Family Relations 



Managing Work and Family Responsibilities 



The Building Blocks of Family Life 



Managing Work 
and Family Responsibilities 

Description: Management means 
planning and organizing resources to 
take action. Managing the responsibili- 
ties of both family life and work life can 
increase satisfaction with family life and 
productivity at work. 
Examples: Planning and using a family 
budget; making a schedule of family 
activities; setting a goal and making a 
plan to spend time together as a family; 
and purchasing and preparing healthy 
food. 



Relating to Others 

Description: The quality of family life 
depends on the interaction between 
Tamily members. Caring, respectful 
relationships in families help family 
members develop to their fullest 
potential. 

Examples: Expressing feelings, needs, 
and ideas constructively; listening 
actively; recognizing and respecting 
individual differences; and resolving 
conflict. 



Solving Personal 
and Family Problems 

Description: Everyone faces problems. 
The quality of life depends on the deci- 
sions individuals and families make 
throughout life. Skill in collaboratively 
solving problems contributes to the 
strength of families. 
Examples: Recognizing and facing 
problems with a positive attitude; seeking 
adequate and reliable information when 
solving problems; evaluating choices 
based on goals and values important to 
the family; and reflecting on decisions 
and evaluating actions. 



Assuming 
Leadership Roles 

Description: Leadership involves 
helping family members work 
together to reach a common goal. 
Examples: Establishing family 
visions and goals; cooperating; and 
planning actions that achieve 
family goals. 



ERLC 



13 



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Family Relations 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 



C PROCESS ^ ^ 
MODULE ^ J 







Problem: 




Process 




Competency 


0.0.2: 


Competency 




Builders: 


0.0.2.1 




0.0.2.2 




0.0.2.3 




0.0.2.4 




0.0.2.5 




0.0.2.6 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



Module Overview 

What should I do about solving personal and family problems? 



Apply problem-solving process to personal and family problems for well- 
being of self and others 



Clarify personal and family issues 

Identify adequate, reliable information and resources for personal and family 
problem solving 

Create alternative choices for solving problems 
Evaluate potential consequences of alternative choices 
Use criteria and standards to make ethical decisions 
Evaluate outcomes 



1 . Personal and family issues 

2. Practical problem solving 

3. Evaluation of outcomes 



Teacher Note: Since the four process competencies of managing work and family responsibilities, 
solving personal and family problems, relating to others, and assuming a leadership role represent 
skills essential to strong families, the four process modules introducing these skills should be taught 
at the beginning of the Family Relations course. This module introduces the concept of problem 
solving and establishes the Reflection Notebook Project which will be used throughout the course. 
Refer to Overview of the Family Relations Resource Guide Process Modules (p. 3) to determine 
the focus of each process module. 

Since the content of the process competencies remains relatively unchanged over the six core course 
areas of the Work and Family Life program, the teacher background information is the same as that 
printed in previous guides. The learning activities, however, have been designed specifically for this 
course area and complement the content modules found in the rest of the guide. 



ERIC 



15 

22 



n 


3 


Solving Personal and Family Problems 






) 



C PROCESS ^ 
MODULE ^ J 

Teacher Background Information 

Rationale 



The quality of work and family life depends on the ability to solve practical problems. These practical 
problems are complex, each with a varying context, requiring reasoning about what is best to believe 
and do in changing contextual conditions. Unfortunately, there is evidence (Perkins, 1985; Laster, 1987) 
to indicate that both youth and adults do not reason well to answer everyday Whal-to-do questions- 
especially problems involving actions that will affect the well-being of others. Perkins (1987) found that 
normal education at the high school, college, and graduate school levels had only a slight impact on 
everyday informal reasoning skills. In fact, with the exception of Family and Consumer Sciences, 
educational programs do little to develop the value reasoning skills needed to solve these human survival 
and family life problems. 

All educators are responsible for helping students prepare for their future by developing the critical and 
creative thinking skills involved in solving problems. Deep, elaborative, and constructive thinking is 
required for learners to have meaningful learnings that can be remembered and used later. Since half of 
the information in any field is estimated to become outdated in six years, **students will be better 
equipped for the future if they are good thinkers rather than good memorizers of a fixed body of knowl- 
edge'' (Willis, 1992, p. 1). Employers' competitive *?dge is increasingly dependent on their employees' 
basic thinking skills, and "workers are being challenged as never before" since they often lack the needed 
learning, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills (Camevale et al., 1990). 

As problems become more complex and lead to further reaching moral consequences, individuals need 
help in developing their moral reasoning abilities. Individual and family issues as well as many of the 
significant problems facing society today have complex moral dimensions. Issues such as family vio- 
lence, meaningful education, quality environment, care of the young and elderly, declining moral and 
ethical behavior, increasing self-centeredness, and declining civic responsibility require practical, moral 
reasoning at family, community, and global levels. Such reasoning is necessary because the contexts of 
these problems are constantly changing: the global environment, people and their developmental stage, 
relationships between people, and value priorities. 

Recent developments in cognitive psychology and home economics have led to the conclusion that 
thinking and learning skills can be modified. Practical intelligence, a set of learning and thinking skills 
needed for solving everyday problems, can be developed when adolescents are missing essential cogni- 
tive processes. Both Martin (1988) and Vulgamore (1991) were able to significantly increase their 
students' level of decision making by offering formal instructional activities. These findings suggest the 
need to formally help students develop practical problem-solving skills, including decision-making and 
critical-thinking processes. 



16 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 





^ 

1 




r PROCESS "\ 
V MODULE ^ J 



Background 

Fulfilling work and family roles involves solving both scientific and practical problems and using a 
variety of thinking processes to solve those problems, as illustrated in Table 1. Solving both scientific and 
practical problems requires reasoning: reaching conclusions, inductively or deductively, from knowl- 
edge. However, scientific and practical problem-solving processes differ in the types of knowledge 
needed to solve the problem. 

Scientific problems, such as \^hat is, w/iy, and how; questions, require scientific reasoning in which 
conclusions are reached from factual knowledge and inferences gained through observations. Practical 
problems, on the other hand, involve value questions that require rational and moral judgments, affecting 
people and their well-being. Thus both factual knowledge and value knowledge are used to solve practi- 
cal problems. 

Practical problem solving, as identified in Table 1 , is the process used to decide what is best to do when 
faced with a practical problem. An important component of this process is practical reasoning. Practical 
reasoning is the part of the practical problem-solving process required for coming to the best conclusion 
about what to do. Practical reasoning involves high-level thinking and deep, elaborative information 
processing, including both critical and creative thinking skills. Critical thinking skills such as assessing 
information accurately, judging the viability of alternatives, and making a decision, are important to this 
process. In addition, creative thinking skills such as imagining consequences, conceptualizing alterna- 
tives, and empathizing with others are important to practical reasoning. 

> 

Work and family life problems have consequences that may benefit or harm people, and therefore involve 
moral consequences. Because complex problems often involve many values, people frequently experi- 
ence value conflicts when trying to decide between alternative actions or choices. A major component of 
practical reasoning is value reasoning. Value reasoning means reaching conclusions, inductively or 
deductively, from values or value principles. Value reasoning involves clarifying the values held by 
those involved in a particular problem situation, but goes beyond values clarification to consider the 
consequences of values and evaluate and consciously select the values that should guide actions. Funda- 
mentally, value reasoning distinguishes practical problem solving from scientific problem solving, 
traditional decision making, and planning processes (See Table 1 ). 

Practical reasoning involves determining an action or actions that have the best reasons for choosing that 
particular action. The best reasons are (1) reliable, truthful, relevant, and adequate supporting facts and 
(2) morally defensible value claims. Morally defensible value claims are reasons that show concern that 
the consequences of the action benefit all who are or will be affected by the act (Coombs, 1 97 1 ). 

For example, possible actions and their potential consequences are evaluated, using these values or value 
principles as criteria to decide what ought to be. Therefore, good practical reasoning involves weighing 
alternative courses of action and determining which course of action ( 1 ) is based on reliable, relevant, and 
adequate reasons, and (2) fulfills the moral value principle of best consequence-actions that benefit, not 




Solving Personal and Family Problems 



Table 1 

Thinking Processes Used in Work and Family Life Problems 



Practical Problem Solving 


ScientiHc Problem Solving 


Decision Making 


Planning Process 


[Uses practical reasoning to 
answer a'practical or value 
question concerning what to 
believe and do» deciding what 
action is best to take. 
Considers the questions: what 
to do, what should be done, 
or what ought to be done? ] 


[Uses scientific reasoning to 
answer theoretical or technical 
questions: What is, what 
controls, what factors, why, 
how does ... ?] 


[Uses technical steps to 
decide how to answer the 
What to do question: 
reasoning is assumed and 
not encouraged. ] 


[Uses technical steps as 
management tool to select, 
carry out, and manage 


1 . Analyze the situation and 
identify the real problem. 


1 . Define the problem. 


1 . Identify the decision to 
be made: Examine the 
goals and constraints of 
the situation. 


1. Identify concerns. 


2. Seek and evaluate 
information. 

• Contextual factors 

• Values and goals 

• Alternative actions 
— Technical action 

— Interpretive action 

— Empowering or 
emancipatory action 

• Consequences of actions 


2. Collect information about 
the problem 
•Theories 
• Previous research 


2. List the alternatives. 


2. Set a goal. 


3. Evaluate actions and 
potential consequences* 
using values and goals 
(especially ethical and 
moral value standards) 
and contextual factors as 
criteria. 


3. Form a hypothesis. 


3. Consider the risks. 


J. ruiill a plan Ul aLllun 

•Who • How 
•What • Why 
•When • Where 


4. Draw conclusions and 
select the best action(s) 
based on 

• Values and goals 
— Moral and ethical 
— Feasible in context 
— Values of others 

involved 

• Facts 

• Imagined possibilities 


4. Experiment to test the 
hypothesis. 


4. Weigh the alternatives, 
e.g., as by: 
• Listing advantages 
and disadvantages 


4. Act. 


5. Take action. 


5. Observe and record data 
from the experiment. 


5. Select an alternative. 


5. Follow up: Evaluate. 


6. Reflect on decision and 
evaluate action. 


6. Draw conclusions based 
entirely on facts observed 
in the experiment. 


6. Accept responsibility. 





18 



26 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 



PROCESS ^ 
MODULE ^ 



harm, all who are (or will be) affected with both short-term and long-term effects-to the highest degree 
possible within the bounds of morality (Coombs, 1971). 

The planning process used in the FHA/HERO program is a management tool to guide an individual or 
group in selecting and carrying out projects to fit their needs and concerns. It is not a reasoning tool. 
Practical reasoning, as compared to the planning process in Table 1, is the most appropriate reasoning 
process for (1) deciding which problem or concern should "be selected for action; (2) deciding which goals 
to set; (3) deciding who, what, when, and where the activity should take place; and (4) evaluating the 
success of the activity, using value standards or criteria selected as part of the goal. Practical reasoning 
will need to be used repeatedly in forming the plan. Encouraging students to collaboratively decide on 
the values they will use to decide among alternative actions or to create an action is the key to good 
practical reasoning. 

When using the practical problem-solving process, "good thinkers" demonstrate specific behaviors. 
"Good thinkers'* 

1 . Are complex thinkers 

- Open to multiple possibilities and alternatives 

- Consider alternative viewpoints 

- Use and search for evidence to support and refute alternative viewpoints 

- Anticipate and evaluate consequences of actions 

. Evaluate alternative actions with a variety of criteria or value standards 

2. Are reflective and deH^crats, searching extensively when appropriate 

3. Believe in being rational 

4. Believe thinking can be effective 

5. Use intellectual standards and criteria for assessing their thinking and the thinking of others 

6. Are ethical and moral thinkers 

- Morally aware-sensitive to ethical and unethical beliefs and actions and their consequences 

in everyday life 

- Concerned about the interests of others rather than only their own interests 

Practical reasoning is a process that is needed daily in our everyday lives to make the best decisions for 
all affected. Individuals develop their practical reasoning abilities through individual, family, class, 
and organizational practical problem solving. As problems become more complex and lead to further- 
reaching consequences, individuals need help in developing their reasoning abilities and practical 
reasoning skills in larger and more complex groups. 




19: 



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Solving Personal and Family Problems 



C PROCESS />A 
MODULE ^ J 

References 

Camevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Meltzer, A. S. (1990). Workplace basics: The essential skills employers 
want San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 

Coombs, J. R. (1984a, July). Critical thinking and practical reasoning. Paper presented at the Interna- 
tional Conference on Thinking at Har\'ard University. 

Coombs, J. R. (1984b, November). Practical reasoning and value analysis education. Paper presented at 
the National Council for Social Studies Conference, Washington, DC. 

Coombs, J. R., & Meux, M. ( 1 97 1 ). Teaching strategies for value analysis. In L. Metcalf (Ed.), Values 
education, Washington, DC: National Council for the Social Studies. 

Laster, J. F. (1987). Instructional strategies for teaching practical reasoning in consumer homemaking 
classrooms. In R. G. Thomas (Ed.), Higher order thinking: Definition, meaning, and instructional 
approaches. Washington, DC: Home Economics Education Association, (ERIC Document Reproduc- 
tion Service No. ED 287 998). 

Martin, J. L. (1 988). The effects of a practical reasoning teaching strategy on tenth-grade students' 
decision making levels. Unpublished master's thesis. The Ohio State University. 

Perkins, D. N. (1985). Nature of shortcomings in everyday reasoning. Unpublished manuscript. Harvard 
University. 

Perkins, D. N. (1987). Post-primary education has little impact on informal reasoning. Journal of 
Educational Psychology. 

Vulgamore, V. (1991). The effect of reading levels on eighth-grade home economics students' decision- 
making levels. Unpublished master's thesis. The Ohio State University. 

Willis, S. (1992, June). Teaching thinking. ASCD update. 




20 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 




C PROCESS /> N 
MODULE ^ J 



Learning Activities 



1. Personal and 
family issues 



Bring in a newspaper or magazine article relating to an issue facing families 
today. In small groups, share your article and make a list of things that these 
issues have in common. Read Practical Family Problems (p. 26), and decide 
whether or not the issues you have identified are practical problems. Justify your 
decision. Refer to your course syllabus or class outline and explain why the 
course is designed around practical problems related to family life. 

Discussion Questions 

• How often do families face practical problems? 

• Why should you be concerned about practical problems ? 

• Do you face any of these issues in your own life? Why or why not? 

• What skills do you need in order to be able to solve practical problems? 

Make a list of ways that you have seen people go about solving problems, such 
as those listed below. Give an example of a situation in which a family might 
use each method. Examine Comparing Reasoning and Nonreasoning (p. 27) 
and identify the consequences of using each of these methods to solve practical 
family problems. 



(1) Impulse 

(2) Habit 

(3) Tradition 

(4) Reasoning 



Discussion Questions 

• What are the characteristics of each of these methods? 

• Which methods are you most likely to use when solving problems? Why? 

• Which method is best for resolving practical family problems? 

• What is a good decision ? A poor decision ? 

• Is it possible to use reasoning and make a poor decision ? Why or why not ? 

c. In small groups, choose a practical family problem identified in Activity la and 
create two case studies or role-plays: one in which a family uses a nonreasoning 
approach to solve the problem and the other in which the family uses reasoning 
to solve the problem. Share your case studies or perfonn your role-plays for the 
class. Explain the consequences of each problem-solving approach. 




21 




Solving Personal and Family Problems 



2. Practical 
problem 
solving 



a. In six cooperative learning groups, read REASON Through Practical Family 
Problems (p. 28). Define unfamiliar terms. Choose one of the six components 
of the REASON model and design a poster about that component. Display your 
poster in the classroom, explaining the component and why it is important to the 
reasoning process. Identify other processes associated with problem solving that 
you may have learned in other courses at school, such as decision making, the 
FHA/HERO Planning Process, or the scientific method. Compare and contrast 
these processes with the practical problem-solving process as outlined in the 
REASON model. 

Discussion Questions 

♦ How can you use the practical problem-solving process as you decide what to 
do about practical family problems? 

♦ What are the advantages of using this process? The disadvantages? 

♦ What skills will family members need to use the process effectively? 

♦ Why is it important for families to use this process when solving practical 
family problems? 



Teacher Note: Students may have a variety of experience with the practical 
problem-solving process, depending on the Work and Family Life Courses 
taken previously to Family Relations. The above activity can be modified 
according to variations in experience. As a class, ask students to list features 
of the practical problem-solving process, then compare the list to those 
characteristics and components on the think sheet. If students are very 
familiar with the process, discuss the need to use it with practical family 
problems. The emphasis of problem solving in this course should be on 
collaborative family problem solving rather than on individual problem 
solving. 



Watch a teacher demonstrate how to use the practical problem-solving process by 
reasoning through the practical problem below. As the teacher demonstrates the 
process, complete a Practical Family Problems Think Sheet (p. 29) that 
includes information that a family might need to make a decision about this 
problem. Explain the characteristics of the teacher's problem solving that 
indicate he or she used reasoning when solving this particular problem. 

(1 ) The Simpson family watches a lot of television. Grandma Simpson, who 
lives with the family, has the television on all day, and when her two 
grandchildren come home from school, they watch television while doing 
their homework. Grandma gets upset when the children fight over which 



erJc 



22 



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Solving Personal and Family Problems 













PROCESS ^ 
MODULE ^ 





programs to watch. Grandma has talked with Mr. and Mrs. Simpson about 
this problem, and they are all worried that perhaps the children watch too 
much television. There are some programs that Mr. and Mrs. Simpson really 
enjoy watching, and they know that Grandma and the children also have 
favorite programs. The Simpsons are also aware that some of the programs 
the family members watch can be educational, while others seem to be a 
waste of time. What should the Simpsons do? 



Teacher Note: The next activity is designed for cooperative learning groups, 
but can be modified to accommodate specific classroom circumstances. The 
specific group assignments can also be set up as learning centers around the 
classroom, with groups or individual students rotating among the centers until 
all skills have been studied. Another strategy is to use each activity with the 
whole class. 



c. In cooperative learning groups, choose one of the following handouts related to a 
specific practical problem-solving skill. Read the handout provided as well as 
other classroom resources. Present that skill to the class, defining terms and 
explaining how that particular skill is important to solving practical problems. 
Use the discussion questions provided on the handout and conduct enrichment 
activities with your class. 



(1) Generating Choices and Consequences (p. 30) 

(2) Using Factual Information When Reasoning (p. 31) 

(3) Using Value Information When Reasoning (p. 32) 

(4) Making Ethical Decisions (p. 33-34) 

(5) Providing Good Reasons for Choices (p. 35) 



d. Action Project: Keep a journal about how you and your family solve practical 
family problems. For each problem your family solves, write a statement of the 
^ problem, choices considered, consequences considered, the solution selected, and 
justification. Record the actual outcome of the solution to each problem. Evalu- 
ate whether or not your solutions were best for your family and others. 

3. Evaluation a. Respond to the question, "How should a family go about evaluating their actions 
* of outcomes with regard to practical family problems?" Make a list of questions to use when 

evaluating choices about practical family problems, such as those listed below. 
Explain how these questions are related to the practical problem-solving process. 




ERLC 



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Solving Personal and Family Problems 



C PROCESS /% ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



(1) Do our actions reflect the decision made? 

(2) Are our actions solving the original problem? 

(3) Are our intended actions achievable in this situation? 

(4) Are our actions ethical? 

(5) Do our actions enhance the well-being of family members and others? 

(6) Will our actions result in positive long-term consequences? 

(7) Would we take the same actions again? 

(8) Do our actions reflect the best we can do in this situation? 

(9) What have we learned? 

(10) How will we handle similar situations in the future? 



Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to evaluate the outcomes of practical problem solving? 

• What can families learn from their experiences in solving practical family 
problems? 

• How can solving practical problems together make families stronger? 

b. FHA/HERO: Organize a chapter meeting to encourage and develop family 
reasoning skills. In small groups, create a family situation for your group, 
assigning each group member a family role such as parent, sibling, or extended 
family member. Choose one of the practical family problems identified in 
Activity la and complete the Practical Family Problems Think Sheet (p. 29) as 
you reason through the problem. Exchange think sheets with another group and 
award a possible five points to that group for each of the criteria listed below. 
Suggest changes or additions, if necessary, to raise the score. Plan a chapter 
celebration for those who have mastered the REASON model used on the think 
sheet. 

(1) Considered several alternatives 

(2) Identified short-term and long-term consequences of each possible choice for 
family members 

(3) Explained how each choice reflected or did not reflect the goals and values 
of the family 

(4) Provided reasons to show why their choice was ethical 

(5) Provided reasons to show why their choice was relevant to the issue 

(6) Provided reasons to show why their choice was based on correct factual 
evidence 

c. Read Reflection Notebook Assignment (p. 37). Obtain a notebook for your 
journal. Choose an article related to a practical family problem and report on the 
article in your journal. Focus on how the practical problem-solving process 
should be used to solve the problem identified in the article. 



24 



31 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 



C PROCESS A 
MODULE ^ J 

Assessment 



Paper and Pencil 



1 . Given case studies, clarify personal and family issues by stating the problem to be solved, identifying 
the type of problem, and describing at least two factors affecting the problem. 

2. Given case studies, create at least three alternatives for solving each problem. 

3. * Given choices to a problem situation, evaluate potential consequences of each alternative choice by 

listing at least two positive and two negative consequences of each choice. 

4. Given case studies, use criteria and standards to make ethical decisions. Test the decision by apply- 
ing questions used to determine whether a solution is ethical. 

5. Given a solution to a problem situaiicn, evaluate the outcomes of the solution by identifying short- 
term and long-term consequences of the action taken and determining if the problem was solved. 

6. Given a practical problem-solving worksheet and a sample practical problem, use each component of 
the practical problem-solving process to reach a justifiable solution. 

V 

Classroom Experiences 

1 . In cooperative learning groups, choose a specific skill related to solving practical problems. Research 
that skill and present your findings to the class, defining terms and explaining how that particular skill 
is important to solving practical problems. 

2. In small groups, choose a practical problem and use the practical problem-solving process to resolve 
that problem. Present your solution to the class and justify your decision. 

3. Choose an article related to a family relations problem and report on the article in your journal. Focus 
on how the practical problem-solving process should be used to solve the problem identified in the 
article. 



Application to Real-life Settings 

1 . Keep a journal about how you solve family relations practical problems. For each problem you solve, 
write a statement of the problem, choices considered, consequences considered, the solution selected, 
and justification. Record the actual outcome of the solution to each problem. Evaluate whether or 
not your solutions were best for you and others. 




32 



Family Relations 



Solving Personal and FamUy Problems 



Practical Family Problems 



A problem is a situation in which something must be solved or worked out, 
and that involves selecting from many possible solutions. Families face a 
variety of problems. Learning how to solve problems collaboratively is 
part of developing a strong family. 

There are different kinds of problems. , . 




Scientific problems involve specific knowledge and "how to" questions. Solving scientific problems 
involves learning cause and effect or functional relationships among varying phenomena, such as • 
concepts, principles, and procedures. 

Practical problems are different from scientific problems. Solving practical problems involves 
deciding what to believe and do, especially about value questions. These types of problems require 
both value knowledge and factual, scientific knowledge when deciding what is best to do. Practical 
problems typically affect people and their well-being. 

Practical family problems require deciding what should or ought to be done for family and family 
members* best interests. Some examples of practical problems that families face are as follows: 

• How should we deal with family conflict? 

• How should we balance work time with family time? 

• What should we do about fulfilling family responsibilities? 



These types of problems that families face have several distinct characteristics that make them 
different from scientific problems. Practical family problems 

• Require deciding what should or ought to be done 

• Involve conflicting values (^^^ 

• Are complicated and thus messy to solve ^ 

, • Frequently have no one right solution ||^ 

• Have consequences for self, family members, and often ^$ 
for others outside the family 

• Are action problems '^e»S^' 

• Involve the thoughts, feelings, values, and needs of all family members 

• Are dependent on the context or situation in which the problem occurs 

• Are ill-structured: can be unclear in terms of the information needed to solve the problem 



Write three practical family problems that your family or a family you know has faced recently. 



1. 



2. 



I 3. 

v.. 



26 33 



Family Relations 



W Solving Personal and Family Problems 



Comparing Reasoning 
and Nonreasoning 




Nonreasoning approaches might 
include 

(1) Acting on impulse 

(2) Blindly accepting a solution 

(3) Making a choice based on habit or 
tradition 

(4) Choosing a solution because it is 
what everyone else is doing 



A nonreasoning approach is being 
used when 

• A choice is made without thinking. 



Situational and environmental 
factors, alternatives, and conse- 
quences are not considered. 

Information is not actively sought. 



• Values are not questioned or 
examined; facts are not used. 

• Others' decisions are not questioned. 

• Results may be harmful to self and 
others. 

• The results may or may not promote 
the well-being of self and others. 

• The decision is usually not workable 
for the long-term consequences of 
the situation. 



A reasoning approach includes 

(1) Comparing alternatives and their consequences 

(2) Evaluating alternatives, using criteria 

(3) Reflecting on long-term effects on all those 
involved 

(4) Justifying choices with good reasons and 
criteria 

Reasoning may be prudential — ^based on what is best 
for self, or moral — based on what is best for self and 
others. 

A reasoning approach is being used when 



A choice is made considering context, alternatives, 
consequences, and ethical implications. 

Situational and environmental factors, alternatives, 
and consequences are considered. 



Accurate, relevant, and reliable information is 
sought and evaluated. 

Values are examined and supported by facts. 



• A reasoned choice is made. 

• The results are satisfactory for the decision maker 
and others.* 

• The results promote the well-being of self and 
others.* 

• The decision is workable for the long-term con- 
sequences of the situation for self and others.* 

*Characteristics of ethical reasoning. 



27 



Family Relations 



f Solving Personal and Family Problems 



j REASON Through Practical Family Problems | 

' In order to reason through practica! family problems and find the solution that is in the best interest of all family 
1 members, it is important to consider many aspects of the problem, the situation, the possible solutions, and the ■ 
1 consequences of each choice. The REASON model can be a guide for thinking through complex practical family 1 
1 problems. The components do not need to be used in the order given, but each component is important to the | 
1 reasoning process. | 


' Recognize 
■ the Problem: 


Practical family problems can be very com- 
plex, and sometimes just identifying th*i prob- 
lem itself can be a real challenge. Each practi- 
cal family problem has a unique context, and 
thp rnnfpYt nf thp-nroblem can influence the 
solution. At . jis point, it is important to con* 
sider what family members really want to 
happen when the problem is resolved; in other 
words, to determine the "desired ends." 


What is the problem? | 
Why is it important to address the problem? ■ 
What is the context of the problem? m 
What caused the problem ? _ 
Who is involved? " 
What factors about this problem will affect the | 
decision about what to do? ^ | 

• What resources are available? m 

• What situational factors affect the situation? ^ 
What goals do we have for the solution to the problem? ■ 
What are the desired ends we want to achieve? m 


■ Evaluate 

■ Information 

■ Needed to 
E Solve the 

■ Problem: 


Solving practical problems requires both fac- 

lUal dnU Value llllUllliallUll. I aClUal IIIIL/Illla 

tion includes the concepts and knowledge that 
will help in developing and evaluating choices. 
Value information includes personal values, 
the values of others involved* and values that 
will help family members make an ethical 
rhnirf* ValiipQ an* ti^ftH as criteria to decide 

L«1IU1L«C. Values aiw as V/iiiVi>iia v\j 

what to believe and do. 


Wf^at factual information is needed? ^ 

\X/Uoro rnn uj/» nht/iin thtK fnrtii/il infnrm/itinn ^ ^ 
YY ficrc CCifl iVc Ui/ictifl ifno yciuiMUt ify i/f rftt*»*i/f* . 

What are our personal values regarding this problem m 
situation ? Which of these values are most important? | 
What are the values of others involved in this situation? ■ 
How will those values influence our decision about what « 
to do? 5 
What values will we use as criteria to decide which H 
choice is best? | 


■ Analyze 

■ Choices and 

■ Consequences: 


There is always more than one choice in- 
volved in a practical family problem. Some- 
times there may be many choices. Even doing 
nothing about a problem is a choice. Each 

LIIUILC Lai I ICd Willi 11 L/U33iUie L>\JllSv\^ueiiVi'ed 

consequences for self» family members* and 
others outside the family, as well as both short- 
term and long-term consequences. 


Wftat choices are possible ? J 
What are the short -term and long-term consequences of | 
each choice? | 
What are the consequences for each family member? For h 
those outside the family ? 5 


S Select the 
J Best Choice: 


Making a decision about which alternative is 
best means evaluating each alternative against 
the value information and desired ends. 


Which choice best reflects the values we liave and the ends 5 
we desire regarding this problem ? ■ 
Which choice would result in the most positive conse- | 
quences for our family xind for others ? | 
Which cftoice works best for this particular situation ? m 


' Outline and 
' Implement a 

■ Plan for 

■ Action: 


Problems are not solved until a reasoned deci- 
sion is put into action. Action requires careful 
planning. 


What skills do we need to carry out this choice? * 
What resources do we need to carry out this choice? I 
What barriers exist that might prevent us from taking | 
action ? How can we overcome these barriers? ■ 
How can we organize the various tasks needed to achieve « 
this solution? ? 


■ Note the 
1 Results of 
1 Your 
1 Action(s): 


Evaluating the outcome of a choice will help 
determine the success of the solution and 
what was learned from solving the problem. 


Would we make the same choice again ? Why or why not ? ■ 
What have we learned? m 
How will this problem-solving experience affect our prob' _ 
lem solving in the future? ■ 
Did our actions enhance the well -being of all family mem- | 
bers and others outside the family? | 
Were our actions ethical ? ^ 




28 



35 



Faniily Relations 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 

Practical Family Problems Think Sheet 



One way to make sure family members are reasoning carefully through problems is to use the steps 
of the REASON model. Complete the checklist below as you solve practical family problems. 



R_ 




ecognize the Problem. State the problem to be solved, 
valuate Information Needed to Solve the Problem. 



Family Goals and Values 


Factual Information 


Factors Affecting the Situation 










nalyze Choices and Consequences 



Choice 



Consequences for 
Family Members and Others 



How Choice Does or Does Not Reflect 
Criteria for Solving the Problem 




[elect the Best Choice. Provide good reasons for your choice. Explain how the 
solution reflects the criteria below. 

• Relevant to the problem 

• Ethical (positive long-term effects on all involved) 

• Workable for this situation 

• Based on relevant, reliable factual information 

utline and Implement a Plan for Action. Identify the actions you need to take, 
when they will be done, and who will do them. 

ote the Results of Your Actions. After you have taken action, reflect on whether or 
not your choice was best. Identify things you learned from solving this problem. 



ERIC 



29 



Family Relations 



P Solving Personal and Family Problems 



Generating Choices and Consequences 



Key Points to Consider W 

Practical problems have many possible solutions. These possible solutions are called choices or 
alternatives. When you are making a decision, it is good to consider as many choices as possible, 
including the alternative of doing nothing about the problem. 

Each possible alternative, if selected would result in consequences. Imagining what will happen 
if you act on possible choices can help you predict whether or not that choice is best. The 
consequences you imagine may or may not actually happen, but imagining consequences will help 
you select the best choice. 

Since practical problems affect not only you, but others around you, it is important to consider the 
consequences of alternatives for yourself and others. In addition, the short-term consequences 
(those that might happen immediately following your choice) and the long-term consequences 
(those that might happen a month, a year, or a number of years after your choice) may be different. 
You should consider both short-term and long-term consequences for each alternative to make the 
best choice. 




Questions for Discussion 

• How many choices are usually available%)r s^^g practical problems? 

• What are the advantages of considering man^inerent choices when solving practical problems? 

• Why is it important to consider the conse^^es of each choice? 

Vision about which choice is best? 
aces for others when making choices about practical 




• How will these consequences affect your j 
Why is it important to consider the conseq 
problems? 



Enrichment Activities 

1 , Choose five family relations problems and write each at the top of a large sheet of newsprint. 
In five groups, choose one of the problems and list at least three possible choices to that problem 
on the newsprint. Trade sheets with that of another group, read the possible choices on the page 
and list possible short-term consequences of each choice. Trade sheets again and add long-term 
consequences for each choice. Retain your original paper and put a *V beside those 
consequences you believe to be positive and a beside those consequences you believe are 
negative, 

2, Choose a practical family problem and make a choices-and-consequences chart for that 
problem. Place possible choices in one column and short-term consequences, long-term 
consequences, and consequences for others, in remaining columns. In pairs, trade papers and 
add consequences to your partner's paper as needed. 



ERLC 



30 



37 



Family Relations 



P Solving Personal and Family Problems 



, — — — ...... 

Using Factual Information When Reasoning 



Key Points to Consider w 

Solving practical family problems requires both value information and factual information. Using factual 
information when solving practical problems can help families make choices that are best for all family members 
and others. As families reason through problems, two questions can help with regard to factual information: 

• Do we have enough relevant factual information to solve this problem? 

• Is the information we have reliable? 

There are many sources of information for solving problems. As families solve practical problems, they may seek 
information from these sources: 

Advice from Others: friends, other family members, teachers, experts 

Media Sources: television, radio, videotapes 

Publications: newspapers, magazines 

Government or community agencies: mental health organizations, support groups, hospital wellness 

programs 
Personal observation or experience 

Seeking infonnation requires the ability to evaluate whether the information is reliable and relevant to the practical 
problem situation. When seeking information, family members need good listening skills and the ability to 
question others to determine value perspectives behind information. When seeking advice from others, it is 
important to consider their values, how those values influence the advice given, and how those values compare with 
those of the family solving the problem. 

The quality of factual information may vary from helpful to misleading, depending on the source. How do you 
know when information is reliable? The questions below can help you evaluate sources of information. 

(1) Does the author or source of information have appropriate credentials? 

(2) Does the author or source of information reflect a bias? If so, what are the consequences of this bias? 

(3) Is the information up-to-date? 

(4) Is the information presented in a logical way and supported by reputable and extensive research? 



Questions for Discussion 

• What are the consequences of solving pg^cal family problems without adequate information? 

• What are the consequences of solving imM^oal family problems with unreliable information? 

• Why is factual information important tj^ractical problem solving? 





Enrichment Activities 

1. Choose a practical family problem and list all possible sources of information for solving that problem. 

2. Create a display of sources of information for solving practical family problems. Evaluate the various sources 
for reliability. Share your evaluations with the class. Justify your choices. 

3. Create a poster illustrating questions to use when evaluating sources of information. Display in the classroom. 



ERLC 



31 



38 



Using Value Information When Reasoning 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 

............... 




Key Points to Consider 

A value is a principle or quality that is valuable or desirable. Solving practical family problems 
requires the consideration of value information as well as factual information. Practical problems 
often involve conflicting values. Some value perspectives that can conflict are 

(1) Values concerning self-interest vs. values that are in the interest of the family good 

(2) Values concerning self or family interest vs. values that are in the interest of the public good 

(3) Values that foster competition vs. values that foster cooperation 

(4) Values that fostef interdependence or independence vs. values that foster dependence 

(5) Values that reflect individualism vs. values that* reflect a commitment to the family group 

Being aware of values and considering the values of others can help families make better decisions 
about practical problems. Each time families make a decision regarding a practical problem, certain 
types of values are represented in that decision. In the list below, types of values are described. 

Types of Values 

Aesthetic values reflect a concern for appearance and beauty. 
Economic values involve cost control, efficiency, and management. 
Health and safety values deal with physical well-being. 
Environmental values reflect a concern for the state of the environment. 
Intellectual values are concerned with education, reasoning, and logic. 
Religious values reflect a concern for following religious doctrine. 
Prudential values reflect a concern for one's own interest. 
Moral values involve others' well-being. 




Questions for Discussion 

• Why is value information importa"i^#ien making decisions about family relations problems? 

• What types of values are most lik^JSi^o influence your decisions about practical problems? 
Why? 1 




Enrichment Activities 

1 . For each type of value, give an example of action taken related to family relations that is based 
on that value. 

2. Design a bulletin board entitled, "Families' Values in Action." Collect newspaper and magazine 
articles or create case studies that illustrate how families' values influence behavior. Throughout 
the course, take turns adding articles or case studies and explain how the values affect family 
behavior, how values may have changed or been reexamined over time, and how value choices 
can represent conflicting perspectives. 

3. Observe the actions of family members you know for examples of different types of values 
guiding their actions. Try to identify the specific values that seem to guide their behaviors. Share 
examples with the class. 



32 39 



Family Rotations 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 

Page 1 of 2 



Making Ethical Decisions 




Key Points to Consider 

The word ethics is defined as the moral principles or values governing an individual or group. Many 
professions such as law and medicine have codes of ethics. The principles set forth in these codes of 
ethics help professionals make choices that will be best for everyone involved. 

Since the choices families make about practical problems involve more than one person, it is important 
that families consider what is ethical when deciding which choice is best. For instance, a parent who 
is deciding whether or not to take a job offer in another city might not only consider the impact of his 
choice on his own career, but might also consider the impact on his children, spouse, and other family 
members. Considering the impact of his decision on others will help him make a more ethical decision. 

Universal values are those values that transcend culture, time, and religions to establish standards for 
ethical conduct. These values form the basis of many of our laws and regulations as a society. 
Examples of universal values are given below. These values can be used as guidelines for making 
ethical choices. 

Honesty: Honest people are truthful and sincere. 

Integrity: People with integrity behave in a manner that is consistent with ethical beliefs. 
Trustworthiness: People worthy of trust keep promises and fulfill commitments. 
Loyalty: Loyal people provide support and commitment to others. 

Fairness: Fair people are committed to justice, the equal treatment of individuals, and respect 
for diversity. 

Caring: A caring person shows concern for the well-being of self, others, and the environment. 
Respect: Respectful people have confidence in their beliefs and values and acknowledge, 
understand, and support the rights of others to express their beliefs. 
Responsibility: A responsible person contributes to the family, his or her workplace, and 
community (local/global) in positive ways and encourages the participation of others. 
Pursuit of Excellence: In the pursuit of excellence, people take pride in their work, give their best 
efforts, reflect on the results of their work, and apply knowledge gained to subsequent tasks. 
Accountability: A quality in individuals whereby each knows, understands, considers, and 
accepts the impact and consequences of personal actions and decisions. 

When deciding whether or not a decision is ethical, the following questions can be used for reflection: 

1 . Does this choice have positive long-term consequences for you and others? 

2. Would you be willing to change places with the person or people most affected by the choice? 

3. Would this be the best thing to do in a similar situation? 

4. Would there be positive results if everyone did things this way? 

5. Will this choice contribute to the physical and psychological well-being of you? Your family? 
Your group? 



33 



40 




Solving Personal and Family Problems 



Making Ethical Decisions (continued) 



Page 2 of 2 



Questions for Discussion 

• Why is it important to think about >^ther ^ot our decisions are ethical in families? 

• Why is it important to be aware of miversal^lues? 

• How do actions your family has tak^ ^^^^y reflect universal values? 

• Why should your family be concerned making ethical choices with regard to practical family 
problems? 

• Is it difficult to make ethical choicesTWhy or why not? 

• Can there be more than one ethical ^^ion to a given problem? Why or why not? 




Enrichment Activities 

1 . Make a poster illustrating the Universal Values and display it in class. 

2. Collect newspaper or magazine articles about family actions that reflect each of the universal 
values. Incorporate these into the poster you made in the above activity. 

3. Collect newspaper or magazine articles about actions that you would consider to be unethical. 
Justify your decision. 

4. Obtain a copy of codes of ethics from various professions. Obtain copies of your school behavior 
guidelines or code of conduct. Compare these guidelines and determine how each represents the 
universal values. 

5. Divide into two groups. Have the first group write a code of ethics for teachers. Have the second 
group write a code of ethics for students. Compare your codes of ethics and explain how these 
codes reflect ethical values. 

6. Write a code of ethics for families. 



V 



Family Relations 



f Solving Personal and Family Problems 



Providing Good Reasons for Choices 




Key Points to Consider 

Perhaps the most difficult part of solving practical family problems is deciding which choice is best. Reasoning 
well means that families will be able to provide good reasons for their choice. What is a "good" reason when 
it comes to justifying a solution to a practical family problem? A "good** reason is 

• relevant to the problem 

• supported by relevant, reliable factual information 

• ethically defensible 

Being able to provide good reasons to support solutions to practical family problems shows that families have 
considered potential con ...iuences» family goals and values, ethical criteria, and adequate* reliable information. 

Reasoning errors can divert attention from the real issue and result in reasons that don*t support the answer to 
the question or issue. Examples of reasoning errors are 

• Using a word or phrase in two different ways» resulting in unclear meanings 

• Appealing to a questionable authority without examining evidence authorities are using 

• Attacking a person or a person*s background 

• Name calling 

• Using popularity arguments such as "Everyone . , 

• Presenting a faulty dilemma 

• Providing only one or two choices: Either-or errors 

• Using generalities 

• Oversimplifying 

• Diverting attention from the real issue 

• Confusing "What should be** with "What is* 

• Confusing naming with explaining 

• Reflecting searching for perfect solutions 

• Begging the question 

• Appealing only to emotion 

• Using emotional fallacies such as the bandwagon appeal, flattery* or false analogies 

• Using deceptive statistics 



Questions for Discussion 

• Is it possible to use reasoning and still mlk^poor decision? Why or why not? 

• Why is it important to provide good reas^^for solutions to practical family problems? 

• What conditions contribute to errors in r^loning? 



Enrichment Activities 

1 . In small groups, choose a practical family problem, identify several choices for solving that problem, and 
complete Which Choice is Best? (p. 36), Share your reasons for the solution with the class and explain 
why those are good reasons for your choice. 

2. Observe a television situation comedy about a family. Identify a practical family problem faced in the 
program and the solution selected by the family. Write the reasons they have used to select that choice 
and explain whether or not you believe their reasons to be good reasons. 





ERLC 



35 



42 



Family Relations 



Solving Personal and Family Problems 



Which Choice is Best? 

When families solve problems, they make choices among alternatives about what should be done. How 
do they know which alternative is best for all family members? In the space below, write alternatives 
that could be used to solve a practical family problem. Then use the following chart to test which 
alternative might be best in that situation. 



1 Alternative A: 


Alternative B: 


Alternative C: ■ 


1 CRITERIA 


Alternative 
A 


Alternative 
B 


Alternative 
C 


IiictificAtinn H 
of Response g 


1 A. Does this choice reflect the 

■ criteria you have established for 

■ solving this problem? Desired 
_ ends? Values of self and others? 


YES 


NO 


YES 


NO 


YES 


NO 




1 B. Is this choice based on adequate, 
1 reliable information? 
















■ C. Is this choice workable for the 
' situation? 
















1 D. Is this choice ethical? 

■ 1. Does this choice have positive 

■ long-term consequences for 
! family members and others? 
















1 2. Would family members be 
1 willing to change places with 

■ the person or people most af- 

■ fected by the choice? 
















' 3. Would this be the best choice 
1 to do in a similar situation? 
















■ 4. Would there be good results if 

■ al! families did things this way? 
















^ 5. Will this choice contribute to 
I the overall well-being of all 
1 family members? The com- 
■ munity? Society? 

















Select an alternative and list three reasons why that alternative would be the best choice. 

1. 

2. 

3. 



36 



43 



Family Relations 



P Solving Personal and Family Problems 



Reflection Notebook Assignment 

To provide an opportunity for you to reflect on family relations topics and issues, keep a reflection notebook 
throughout the course. The purpose of this assignment is 

(1) To reflect on topics researched in class 

(2) To read magazine, newspaper, and journal articles about family relations topics and relate them to what is 
studied in class 

You may want to use a three-ring notebook for this assignment so you can add and take out pages, including 
copies.of articles. Two kinds of entries will be part of your reflection notebook. One type of journal entry will 
be a reflection of what you are learning about in class. Your teacher will give you topics and reflection questions 
for these entries. 

The second type of journal entry is an analysis of an article related to practical family problems. Select a 
magazine, newspaper, or journal article about a family relations topic. Read the article and write a notebook 
entry that includes 

Heading: Title of article, author, source (including date of publication) 

Summary: A one-page summary of the article and how it relates to material studied in the family relations class 
Analysis: An analysis of the information in the article using the questions below: 

• What types of information were presented in the article? 

• What family relations issues were addressed? 

• What types of values were directly or indirectly addressed in the article? 

• How could I use this information when solving practical family problems I might face? 

• Is the information presented reliable? Why or why not? 

An article summary should be written and added to your reflection notebook at least 
once every two weeks. In addition to the article summaries, you will be asked to write 
and reflect on classroom material and activities periodically throughout the course. 
Working with your teacher, write the dates you will be turning in your reflection 
notebook in the spaces to the right. At these intervals you will work with your teacher 
to assess your progress on this assignment. 



Assignment 
Due Dates 



As a class, decide on the criteria you will use to assess your reflection assignment. For the first type of journal 







4 


3 


2 


1 










Improvement 


Not 






Well done 


Acceptable 


needed 


acceptable 


1. 


Related to topic 


4 


3 


2 


1 


2. 


Shows understanding of topic 


4 


3 


2 


1 


3. 


Length meets requiretncnts 


4 


3 


2 


1 


4. 


Effort 


4 


3 


2 


1 



For the second type of journal entry, you might use the same scale with the following criteria: 

1 . Article related to family issue 

2. Article information reported completely 

3. Article summarized 

4. Analysis of article information 



37 . . 

4i4 



Family Relations 



Relating to Others 




C PROCESS ^ ^ 
MODULE ^ y 



Module Overview 



Practical 
Problem: 

Process 
Competency 

Competency 
Builders: 



What should I do about relating to others? 
0.0.3: Relate to others in positive, caring ways 



0.0.3.1 Identify significance of caring, respectful relationships 

0.0.3.2 Create strategies for relating to people of different ages, abilities, genders, and 

cultures* 

0.0.3.3 Communicate effectively** 

0.0.3.4 Express personal feelings, needs, and ideas constructively 

0.0.3.5 Manage conflict 

0.0.3.6 Seek help when needed*** 

*This competency builder is addressed in Content Module 1 : Analyzing the Significance of Families. 
**This competency builder is addressed in Content Module 5: Developing Communication Patterns. 
***This competency builder is addressed in Content Module 6: Dea^ng with Stress, Conflict, and Crises. 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



1. Caring, respectful relationships 

2. Constructive expression of feelings, needs, and ideas 

3. Conflict management 



Teacher Note: Since the four process competencies of managing work and family responsibilities, 
solving personal and family problems, relating to others, and assuming a leadership role represent 
skills essential to strong families, the four process modules introducing these skills should be taught 
at the beginning of the Family Relations course. This module introduces the concept of communicat- 
ing in caring, respectful ways and establishes the Family Relations Research Teams that will be used 
throughout the course. Refer to Overview of the Family Relations Resource Guide Process 
Modules (p. 3) to determine the focus of each process module. 

Since the content of the process competencies remains relatively unchanged over the six core course 
areas of the Work and Family Life program, the teacher background information is the same as that 
printed in previous guides. The learning activities, however, have been designed specifically for this 
course area and complement the content modules found in the rest of the guide. 



ERiC 



39 

43 




Relating to Others 



Teacher Background Information 



Rationale 



Interpersonal, group effectiveness skills are the keystones to maintaining friendships, a stable family, a 
successful career, and strong communities. Yet, no one is bom with these skills. Each person must learn 
these skills and choose to use them. Although many students learn the needed social skills in their fami- 
lies and through community experiences, others lack basic social skills. Frequently, this ineptitude 
persists into adulthood. These students are often isolated, alienated, and disadvantaged in career training 
programs. Such "poor peer relationships have widespread immediate and long-term effects on students' 
cognitive and social development, well-being, happiness, success, and psychological health" (Johnson et 
al., 1990, p. 87). 

The need to develop interpersonal relationship skills in the Work and Family Life Program is supported 
by six major reasons. 

1 . Changes in families and society reduce the time and other resources available to enable parents to 
model, nurture, and develop the social skills needed for our complex contemporary life. Children 
learn their social skills through their family experiences, yet hectic schedules limit family interaction 
time. According to one study, typical American adolescents spend only about five minutes a day 
alone with their fathers and 40 minutes alone with their mothers. On the average, an additional hour is 
spent with both parents. With the addition of about 15 minutes with other adults, the adolescents 
sampled in this study spent about two hours a day with adults other than teachers (Csikiszentmihaly 
& McCormack, 1986). Mealtime conversation also is declining. Of 2,004 families polled in 19'^6, 74 
percent of those with children ages 7 to 17 ate dinner together frequently. By 1986 this number had 
dropped to 63 percent (Roper Organization, 1987; Rubenstein, 1988). With smaller families — 3.5 
family members in 1950 to 2.6 in 1990 (Aburdene & Naisbitt, 1992), interaction time with siblings is 
even reduced. Furthermore, with increasing numbers of children living with only one parent, opportu- 
nities to observe parent communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution is also limited. Conse- 
quently, opportunities for developing communication, negotiating skills, and problem solving at home 
are decreasing. 

2. Strong caring relationship skills will strengthen families. Such skills will help reduce the currently 
increasing incidents of suffering experienced from family violence, divorce, and dysfunctional 
families. Understanding differences in the needs of family members and others, and having the skills 
to respond in sincere, supportive ways rather than in dominating, violent, or uncompromising ways 
would help reduce these rising statistics and encourage optimum development of family, workplace, 
and community members. 

3. Relationships encourage or constrain the development of children and adults (Thomas, 1992). As 
shown in Figure 1, caring, respectful relationships encourage development (Bronfenbrenner, 1990; 
McGovem» 1990). Insensitive, unresponsive, intrusive, and dominating relationships constrain 



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development. Sensitive friends, colleagues, spouses, parents, employers, and community and govern- 
ment leaders obtain information from the verbal and nonverbal cues of others, then respond to those 
needs in ways that meet the needs of those significant others. Reciprocity builds on this sensitivity 
and responsiveness to insure mutual give and take — mutual sharing — communication at its highest 
level. Finally, optimum relationships are supportive. Supportive relationships are caring relationships 
that help the other person meet his or her needs and pursue his or her interests. Such support involves 
deep, reflective, thoughtful, and deliberate planning to create an enriching, empowering environment 
rather than to control or dominate the other person (Thomas, 1992). 



Figure 1 



Interaction Patterns That 
ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT 


Interaction Patterns That 
CONSTRAIN I>EVELOPMENT 




SUPPORT 
convey trust* interest* confidence; provide 
an enriching environment that assists the 
other person in meeting their needs and 
pursuing their interests. 


DOMINATION 
direct and control other person's thoughts, 
feelings, actions, and activities for pur- 
poses that do not include that person's needs 
or interests; exert power over other person. 






RECIPROCITY 
practice exchange, mutual give and 
take» turn-taking 


INTRUSIVENESS 
interfere with other person's goals and 
activities 








RESPONSIVENESS 
respond to other person's needs 
in ways that meet them 


UNRESPONSIVENESS 
take actions unconnected to other 
person's needs 












SENSITIVITY 
accurately read other per- 
son's cues, signals, messages 


INSENSITIVITY 
miss other person's cues, 
signals, messages 









Adapted from Thomas (1992a). 



4. To increase their competitive edge, American employers need employees with these interpersonal 
skills and an appreciation for diversity. Higher productivity, product quality, and increased quality of 
work life have been linked conclusively with the team approach in the workplace (Camevale et aL, 
1990, p. 32). Success depends on individuals at all levels of the work force' getting along with each 
other. Increased cultural diversity and participative problem solving and decision making increase 
potential disagreements and the need for group effectiveness skills. Good communication, coopera- 
tive teamwork, and negotiating skills provide the foundation for successful leadership and organiza- 
tional effectiveness. 



As new technology continues to be introduced into all aspects of our society, caring, respectful 
relationships in the private and public domains are needed as a counterbalance. John Naisbitt ob- 
served that with the continuing invasion of technology into our factories, offices, schools, homes, and 
health care systems, "we must leam to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual 



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/ 

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demands of our human nature" (1982, p. 40). As technology continues to invade and at times domi- 
nate our lives, the need for a compensatory "high touch" of caring, respectful relationships is basic to 
meeting the "spiritual demands of our human nature." 

6. As women make life choices that take them av^ay from caregiving occupations and their families, the 
need to help both males and females develop loving ways of life is imperative. Today more than three 
quarters of the caregiving in our.own country continues to be provided by women (Sommers & 
Shields, 1988). Although the exploitation of women as caregivers needs to be changed, the prospect 
of women ceasing to provide caregiving is horrendous (Noddings, 1988). Who will care for us, as 
adults, when we are tired, dejected, depressed, misunderstood? 

Background 

Relationships with others are an inescapable part of everyday life. In relationships with peers, family 
members, employers, colleagues, and authority figures, interactions continuously move through a rela- 
tionship life cycle (Portnoy, 1986). This model is particularly useful in illustrating the development of 
working relationships, such as in classrooms or workplaces, but also reflects the stages experienced in 
personal and family relationships. Seven stages are included in the relationship life cycle: 

1. Establishing trust 

2. Becoming acquainted 

3. Forming attachments 

4. Clarifying roles and expectations, negotiating to reach consensus, and modeling 

5. Integration and commitment 

6. Stability 

JOLT— Disturbance in relationship 

7. Instability 

At any time, a disturbance may interfere with the relationship, resulting in the seventh stage, instability. 
Basically, when individual or group needs are not met, a relationship becomes strained and unstable. For 
example, one person's behavior may be inconsistent with the expectations of another, or a role change 
may create instability in the relationship. Misunderrtandings may also cause relationship instability. Such 
instability may be resolved by reexamining and clarifying roles, redefining expectations, renegotiating, 
and possibly modeling. 

Basic interpersonal skills are needed throughout this relationship life cycle in all contexts. These basic 
skills include communicating (speaking and listening by mutually sharing meanings and feelings), 
empathizing with and correctly identifying the emotions of others, working cooperatively with others, 
negotiating for consensus, and resolving conflict (Camevale et al., 1990; Bolin 1990; Westlake & 
Westlake, 1992). The Secretary of Labor's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills specified the 
following interpersonal competencies as essential for the workplace: 




48 

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• Participates as member of a team — contributes to group effort 

• Teaches others new skills 

♦ Serves clients — works to satisfy clients' expectations 

♦ Exercises leadership — communicates ideas to justify positions, persuades and convinces others, 
responsibly challenges existing procedures and policies 

• Negotiates — works toward agreements involving exchange of resources, resolves divergent interests 

♦ Works with diversity — works well with men and women from diverse backgrounds 

How we relate to others as we use these skills depends on many factors, including one's individual 
differences and identity development. People differ in many ways. We differ in age and gender, physi- 
cally and developmentally, economically, culturally, racially, ethnically, religiously, and occupationally. 
From our first encounters with others, these differences are apparent and influence our trusting others, 
becoming acquainted, and forming attachments. 

Individual differences can be empowering in relationships or oppressive. While accepting and valuing 
cultural, racial, and ethnic differences can empower, discrimination based on ethnocentrism, racism, 
prejudice, and stereotyping is oppressive and limits self-formation and self-actualization. When develop- 
ment is limited by oppression, society cannot benefit from the contributions of all its people, and the 
quality of life suffers for all. Understanding these differences begins with understanding cultural con- 
cepts: 



1 . Culture: the way of life of a people. The sum of a people's learned behavior patterns, attitudes, and 
material things. Within a country, cultural groups may differ in ethnicity, race, and/or religion. 

2. Ethnicity: the affiliation of members of a group who retain the customs, language, or social values of 
a group. Ethnocentrism occurs when individuals believe that their group is superior personally and 
culturally and must be protected and defended. 

3. Racism: systematic oppression of one race by another. Racism occurs at the individual, interpersonal, 
institutional, and/or cultural level. Like ethnocentrism, racism may be overt or covert* intentional or 
unintentional. 

4. Prejudice: judgment or opinion about others made before one has the facts, and generalizing and 
applying that judgment to individuals. Such prejudices may become stereotypes when the judgments 
and opinions become a fixed image of the characteristics and/or behavior of the members of a group. 
Stereotypes tend to dehumanize people by ignoring their characteristics as individuals. Bigotry occurs 
when an individual is intolerant of beliefs and cultures other than his or her own. 



5, Discrimination: any kind of action taken to deprive members of a certain group of their civil rights. 
Civil rights are the freedoms that people are entitled to as members of a community or nation. In 
democratic societies, civil rights include equal opportunity for schooling and employment, and equal 
treatment under the laws. 



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As we develop our identities (our consciousness about who we are and how we are alike and different from 
others), we have varying attitudes toward ourselves and others, and consequently, relate to others in varying 
ways, depending upon our level of identity with the minority or dominant groups. Depending upon our 
individual differences and our perceptions of whether or not we are in the minority or majority, we may 
relate to others who are different from us in appreciating or depreciating ways; with anger, anxiety, guilt, 
fear or tolerance; in oppressing, patronizing, or controlling ways; or in nurturing, inclusive, open relation- 
ships. 

At the highest levels of identity, we appreciate oui selves and have selective appreciation of others who are 
from minority and majority groups. We are all, at one time or another, from a minority or majority group. 
Throughout life, we find ourselves in groups that have members who are like or different from us in age, 
gender, race, religion, ethnic background, ability, or occupation. 

The overall affective outcome of interpersonal relationships is caring. Developing an ethic of caring is 
essential if students are to build healthy relationships with peers, family members, and coworkers. Nell 
Noddings (1988) has described caring as an ethical orientation to relationships. The ethic for caring is 
concerned with moral behavior and not just moral judgment. Caring effectively requires interpersonal 
reasoning, skill, and moral affect. The power and necessity of interpersonal reasoning is described by Kari 
Waemess: 

Caring is about relations between at least two people. One of them (the carer) shows concern, 
consideration, affection, devotion towards the other (the cared for). The one needing care is 
invaluable to the one providing care, and when the former is suffering pain or discomfort, the 
latter identifies with her or him and attends to alleviating it. Adult healthy people feel a need 
to be cared for by others in many different situations. Worn out, dejected, tired, depressed- 
there are many adjectives to describe states in which what we need or desire is for others 'to care 
for us.' In such situations we may feel that we have a right to our need for care being met. This 
means there must be others who feel that it is their duty or desire to honor this right (1984, p. 134). 

To prepare all students for their teamwork roles in the workplace and their future families, these skills 
need to be developed now by students who have not developed these skills in their present families and 
previous school experiences. The quality of life in families and our workplaces depend on the develop- 
ment of these skills and the ethic of caring. 



References 

Aburdene, P., &Naisbitt, J. (1992) Megatrends for women. New York: Willard Books. 

Bolin, F. S. (1990). Growing up caring. Mission Hills, CA: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. 

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1990). Discovering what families do. In D. Blankenhom, S. Bayme, & J. Bethke 
(Eds.), Rebuilding the nest: A new commitment to the American Family (pp. 27-38). Milwaukee: Family 
Service American Publications. 




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Camevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Meltzer, A. S. (1990). Workplace basics: The essential skills employers 
want, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 

Csikiszentmihaly, M., & McCormack, J. (1986, February). The influence of teachers. Phi Delta Kappan, 
February 1986, p. 417. 

Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Holubec, E. J. (1990). Circles of learning: Cooperation in the class- 
room, 3rd ed. Edina, MN: Interaction Books. 

McGovem, M. A. (1990). Sensitivity and reciprocity in the play of adolescent mothers and young fathers 
with their infants. Family Relations, 39, 427-431. 

Naisbitt, J. (1982). Megatrends: Ten new directions transforming our lives. New York: Warner Books. 

Noddings, N. (1988). An Ethic of caring and its implications for instructional arrangements. American 
Journal of Education, 96:(2), 215-230. 

Noddings, N. (1988). Caring and interpersonal reasoning. Presentation at the Second International Confer- 
ence on Thinking and Problem Solving at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. 

Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A feminist approach to ethics and moral education. Berkeley: University of 
California Press. 

Portnoy, R. A. (1986). Leadership: What every leader should know about people. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: 
Prentice Hall. 

Roper Organization. (1987). American Chicle Youth Poll. Morris Plains, NJ: American Chicle Group of 
Warner-Lambert. 

Rubenstein, C. (1988, May 12). The struggle to keep family time quality time. New York Times, p. CI. 
Sommers, T., & Shields, L. (1988). Women take care. Gainsville, FL: Triad. 

Thomas, R. (1992a). Strengthening parent-child relationships: A reflective dialogue approach to parent 
education. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota. 

Thomas, R. (1992b). Teaching for transfer. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational 
Education. 

Waemess, K. (1984). The rationality of caring. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 5\{1\\7^A. 
Westlake, H., & Westlake, D. G. (1992), Relationships and family living. St. Paul, MN: EMC Publishing. 



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1. Caring, 
respectful 
relationships 



Learning Activities 

Visualize at, relationship that illustrates caring and respect. Write down specific 
behaviors or characteristics of that relationship that indicate why it is an example 
of caring and respect. In pairs, share your findings and create a T-chart wkh two 
colunins, one labeled "Caring looks like" and the other labeled "Caring sounds 
like." Share your responses with the class. Use a dictionary to research the 
definitions of caring and respect. Explain how the characteristics and behaviors 
you have identified illustrate these definitions. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why are these two qualities important to family relationships? To school 
relationships? To community relationships? To work relationships? 

• What would it be like if you were unable to experience these types of relation- 
ships? What would the world be like if these types of relationships did not 
exist? 

• What are the short-term and long-term consequences of caring, respectful 
relationships? 

• What are the characteristics of uncaring, disrespectful relationships? What 
are the consequences of these types of relationships in families? Schools? 
Workplaces? Communities? 

• What skills, values, and attitudes do yc u need to form caring, respectful 
relationships with others? 

In small groups, examine the following examples of behavior and determine 
those that represent caring, respectful behavior. For those that do not reflect 
caring, respectful behavior, change the situation to reflect more caring behavior. 
Share your responses to the situations and explain how your choices reflect the 
characteristics of caring, respectful behavior. 

(1 ) Mikala knows that she and her parents have agreed that she will not visit a 
friend's home unless a parent or another adult is there. After a meeting at 
school one evening, she goes over to her boyfriend's home knowing that 
neither of his parents is home. Mikala believes that what her parents don't 
know can't hurt them. 

(2) Robert's mother and father are divorced and live in different cities. Robert 
lives with his father, but lately he and his father have been fighting over 
everything, including Robert's responsibilities around the house and the 
friends Robert chooses. Robert hates fighting, so he has decided to live with 
his mother for a while. 

(3) Shana found out that her younger sister has been spreading rumors.about her 
behind her back. Shana went home, found her sister, and beat her up. 



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(4) Kyle's mother has asked him to be at his brother's birthday celebration. A 
few of Kyle's friends ask him to go to a big concert and he decides to go, 
knowing he will miss the birthday party. 

(5) Craig has two teenage sons. The older of the two sons is constantly putting 
the younger one down with insults and verbal abuse. Craig is aware of the 
problem and is bothered by the way the younger son has withdrawn and 
spends time in his room to avoid his brother. But Craig feels strongly that he 
should not interfere in his sons' lelationship. He does his best to ignore the 
situation and says nothing about it. 

(6) Ruth suspects that her son may be involved in some trouble. She has found 
money missing from her purse, has noticed he is coming in much later at 
night, and is having trouble talking with him because he ignores her. When 
she finds out he is skipping school, Ruth tries to talk with him, but he assures 
her nothing is wrong and he will try to do better. One weekend, he does not 
come home all night. By morning, she decides to call, the police and report 
him as missing. 

Discussion Questions 

♦ What are the consequences of the behavior of each family member in the above 
case studies? 

♦ Why is it important to consider caring, respectful behavior when making 
choices affecting the family? 

♦ How do your choices affect others in your family? 

♦ How can your choices influence your ability to form caring, respectful rela- 
tionships with others? 

c. In small groups, describe a high school in which a high value is placed on respect 
and caring. Then describe a high school in which a low value is placed on 
respect and caring. Make a list of guidelines for building caring, respectful 
relationships in your Family Relations class. Share your list with the class and 
choose those guidelines that are most important. Post the guidelines in class. 

Discussion Questions 

♦ What would happen if you chose not to behave in caring, respectful ways in 
your Family Relations class? 

♦ What skills do you have that will help you follow these guidelines? 

♦ What goals do you have with regard to building these types of relationships in 
your Family Relations class? 

♦ How are these guidelines similar to or different from guidelines for caring, 
respectful relationships in families? 



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With the help of your teacher, form Family Relations Research Teams. Your 
team will serve as your base group for cooperative learning activities throughout 
the course. Select a name for your team and make a poster illustrating the name 
of your team and the interests and talents of team members. Display the poster 
near the area in which your team will routinely work. 

Discussion Questions 

• What are the advantages of working in teams as you study and learn about 
family issues? 

• What skills will you need to be an effective team member? 

• What are the consequences for team members accepting responsibility for the 
success of the team? Not accepting responsibility for the success of the team? 

• How is the Family Relations Research Team like a family? 

• How could the skills you will develop as a team member be used in other 
groups? With family? In the community? 



Teacher Note: Use Teacher Guidelines for Family Relations Research 
Teams (p. 53) for suggestions as to how to establish these teams. 



e. Write an entry in your reflection notebook explaining your goals as a member of 
a Family Relations Research Team and the role your participation in the team 
will play in helping you develop knowledge and skills to build strong families. 
Use the questions below to guide your journal entry. 

(1) What are my goals as a member of a Family Relations Research Team? 

(2) What skills do I have to contribute to the team? 

(3) What skills do I want to continue to develop to be an effective team member? 

(4) What responsibilities will I have in the team that are like the responsibilities I 
might have as a family member? What responsibilities are different from 
those I might have as a family member? 

(5) What can I learn in my Family Relations Research Team that will help me 
build strong families? 

f . Action Project: Interview members from several families representing several 
generations to determine ways that caring and respect are demonstrated in family 
relationships. If possible, videotape the interviews, take pictures of the families, 
and/or attend special family celebrations. Write a summary of your findings or 
present them to the class in an oral report. 



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g. FHA/HERO: Plan and conduct a family picnic to recognize and celebrate caring 
and respectfijl relatfonships among chapter members and their families. Invite 
family members and create displays of family photographs, mementos, and 
videotapes. Ask families to prepare a special family food to share with others in 
a potluck meal. Organize a panel of family members to share special family 
celebrations. Make favors for family members and thank them for providing the 
caring, respectful relationships that build strong families. 



2. Constructive a. Read Checking Up on Communication Skills (p. 54). Define unfamiliar terms. 

* expression of Identify the consequences of using each of the skills and what each contributes to 

feelings, needs, effective communication. Explain how each of these skills contributes to foster- 

and ideas ^"8 caring, respectfijl relationships in your Family Relations class. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is effective communication important to your Family Relations class? To 
families? To communities? hi the workplace? 

• Which skills identified on the effective communication list have you practiced 
in real-life settings? 

• Which skills would you like to improve? 

b. Identify roles that could be assigned to each team member when completing 
assignments, such as those listed below. Discuss a fair way to assign responsi- 
bilities to one of the roles. During the discussion, the teacher will use Checking 
Up on Communication Skills (p. 54) to note effective communication behaviors 
being used during the discussion. Present your decisions regarding the responsi- 
bilities to the class and get feedback from your teacher about the effectiveness of 
communication skills in your group. 



(1) Leader 

(2) Recorder 

(3) Checker 

(4) Reporter 



Discussion Questions 

• Which communication skill did your group use most often? Why? 

• Can you give an example of an l-message used by any member of your group 
during the discussion? 

• How did ycufael when your group was communicating effectively? 

• Did your group face any difficulties in communicating? Why or why not? 

• Which skills will you need to continue to improve to communicate effectively as 




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c. Action Project: Identify a group you are involved in on a regular basis. This 
could be a school group, your family, or a community group. Write several 
examples of communication situations you have experienced recently in that 
group and explain how these situations illustrate or do not illustrate good com- 
munication in groups. Set a goal for yourself to improve a specific communica- 
tion skill in that group setting. Keep a journal of your progress in using the skill 
and evaluate your progress at the end of the project. 



3. Conflict a. Write the following question on the chalkboard: "How should we go about 

management resolving conflict in our Family Relations class?'' As a class, list possible goals 
or desired ends with regard to this problem, such as those listed below. 

(1) Form caring, respectful relationships with class members. 

(2) Create a positive learning environment. 

(3) Learn skills that can be transferred to real-life settings, such as families and 
other school and community groups. 

b. Complete What is Your Conflict Style? (p. 55). Explain the consequences of 
using each of these different conflict styles when resolving conflicts in your 
Family Relations Class. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to learn how to manage conflict? 

• What goals do you have for managing conflict in your Family Relations class? 
Your family? With your friends? 

• What are the consequences of managing conflict in positive ways? 

c. Read Resolving an Issue (p. 56). In Family Relations Research Teams, choose 
one of the situations below and discuss how that conflict would be resolved if 
you used the negotiation process described on the handout. Present your solution 
to the class in a role-play. 

(1) One of the members of your team is not doing his assigned responsibilities. 
For several assignments, the rest of the team has been covering for him and 
doing the work for him, but now the team is feeling like they are being used. 
The rest of you are earning good grades for him. 

(2) Your team has been assigned a project to research family life in another 
culture. Several members of the team want to do a culture for which there 
are very few resources in the school library and it would mean a trip to the 
city library and other places. You think this is too much work and want to 
persuade them to choose a culture for which there are more resources. 




50 



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Relating to Others 




(3) You are working on a cooperative project with your team, and another 
member of the team seems to be copying your work, rather than contributing 
her own. You are furious! 

(4) One member of your team enjoys being the leader, but wants to do every- 
thing himself, without involving the other members of the team. You and the 
other members feel this is unfair, 

(5) Ycu and your team had a huge argument about a project you are working on. 
Everyone left the class that day mad and a little hurt. The next day, the team 
faces each other and knows they have to work together to complete the 
project, but no one is talking to anyone else. 

(6) One of the team members has been absent irour out of the last five days. 
Your group has continued with the project and done the work that would 
have been assigned to him. He would like to make up the work, even though 
your team is ready to turn in the project. Your teacher has asked that you 
come up with a fair way to assign him responsibilities related to the project 

. that he can do on his own. He Feels that the project is already done, so his 
work would be meaningless. 

Discussion Questions 

• What are the advantages of using this process when resolving conflict? 

• Is this process a good one to use when resolving conflict with your team? Why 
or why not? 

• Should you use this process when resolving conflict in a family? Why or why 
not? 

• Are there times when it would not be right to compromise in a conflict situa- 
tion? Why or why net? 

• What skills do you need to resolve conflicts in this ivay? 

• What personal, school, and community resources are available to help you 
learn conflict resolution skills? 



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C PROCESS -2 A 
MODULE ^ J 

Assessment 

Paper and Pencil 

1 . Write a paragraph identifying the significance of caring, respectful relationships. Include a definition 
of caring and respectful behavior toward others and at least three reasons why caring, respectful 
relationships are important to individuals, families, and society. 

2. Given case studies involving ineffective communication, suggest ways to make the communication 
more effective. 

3. Given situations involving relationships with others, suggest ways to express personal feelings, needs, 
and ideas constructively. 

4. Given situations involving conflict, suggest ways to resolve the conflict in ways that are best for self 
and others. 

Classroom Experiences 

1 . In small groups, examine examples of behavior and determine those situations that represent caring, 
respectful behavior. For those that do not reflect caring, respectful behavior, change the situation to 
reflect more caring behavior. 

2. In teams, choose a situation and discuss how that conflict would be resolved if you used a conflict 
negotiation process. Present your solution to the class in a role-play. 

Application to Real-life Settings 

1 . Interview members from several families representing several generations to determine ways that 
caring and respect are demonstrated in family relationships. If possible, videotape the interviews, 
take pictures of the families, and/or attend special family celebrations. Write a summary of your 
findings or present them to the class in an oral report. 

2. Identify a group you are involved in on a regular basis. Write several examples of communication 
situations you have experienced recently in that group and explain how these situations illustrate or 
do not illustrate good communication in groups. Set a goal for yourself to improve a specific commu- 
nication skill in that group setting. Keep a journal of your progress in using the skill and evaluate 
your progress at the end of the project. 




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f Relating to Others 



Teacher Guidelines for Family Relations Research Teams 



An important goal of the Family Relations class is to help students develop skill in working cooperatively within 
groups. Skills such as communicating, resolving conflict, setting and working toward group goals, and fostering 
group cooperation can be learned and practiced in cooperative learning groups during the course. These skills, 
once developed, can help students develop strong families and strong communities. 

To develop these skills, students need practical situations to use these skills in promoting positive interaction and 
encouraging individual and group decision making. An FHA/HERO chapter, established as part ofthe class, can 
provide an excellent opportunity for small group interaction. In addition. Family Relations Research Teams can 
serve as base groups for cooperative learning assignments throughout the semester. 

These teams are long-term base groups that can create a simulated family environment. The teams provide the 
following: 

1 . Assistance, support, and encouragement for mastering the course content and ^ ' 0 
skills and feedback on how well the content and skills are being learned. JHL ^ MB 

2. Assistance, support, and encouragement for thinking critically about ^B^^^/iii Hi 

the course content, explaining precisely what one learns, engaging f^n H 

in intellectual controversy, getting the work done on lime, and mm 11 

applying what is learned to one's own life. il 1 f 11 

3. A set of interpersonal relationships to personalize the course and an arena 

for trying out the cooperative learning procedures and skills emphasized within the course. 

4. A structure for managing course evaluation. 

Teams can be used for cooperative learning activities such as solving practical problems that occur within 
families, researching family issues, or developing Action Projects or FHA/HERO community service projects. 

Teams can be selected in a variety of ways but should be assigned by the teacher. Assigning teams eliminates 
friends being with friends and promotes interaction with new learners. The more diverse the groups are in terms 
of learning styles, leadership qualities, thinking skills, and student background, the l icher the environment will 
be for group interaction and, ultimately, for meaningful learning. 

If the local school environment allows, form the teams into simulated family groups. Place learners into the 
following simulated families: single-parent, dual parent, married without children, extended, and blended. The 
number of children in each simulated family can vary as necessary. Once teams have been given a specific type 
of family, allow the team members to create the dynamics of their family situation such as names, residence, ages, 
roles, occupations, and special concerns (unemployment, physical handicaps, etc.). Arrange the classroom so 
thatfamilyteamscansittogether. Try toassign students toteamsdifferentthan their real-life families. Examples: 
assign learners from single parent families to families with dual parents, only-child learners to families with 
children, etc. This will provide learners with the opportunity to develop empathy and understanding for families 
different from their own. 

In order for cooperative teams to be successful, it is important to teach and reinforce group processes. The 
purpose of the Relating to Others Process Module and the Assuming a Leadership Role Process Module is to 
directly teach important skills for group interaction: communication, conflict management, cooperation, and 
leadership.. The learning activities in'these modules arc designed to develop these concepts and to establish the 
Family Relations Research Teams for the remainder of the course. As the teams complete assignments and 
projects, reinforce the use of group skills. Provide feedback to students using Checking Upon Communication 
Skills (p. 54) or Assessing Team Cooperation (p. 68). Team members should periodically be asked to assess 
themselves using these same instruments. 

In the event that a team member is absent from class on a regular basis, allow the team members to determine 
how to complete the assignment and identify make-up work. This is a good opportunity to help team members 
be responsible for the group and to use problem-solving or conflict-resolution skills. 



V 




Family Relations 



Relating to Others 



Checking Up On Communication Skills 

Communication involves both sending and receiving messages. The 
items on the checklist below contribute to clear communication. 



When Sending Messages 



. Choose a time and place that will enhance the 
communication. 
Consider the perspective of the receiver when 
phrasing your message. 

Accurately describe your ideas, perceptions, feelings, and 
needs without implying judgment. 
"I feel . . y "I want . . *'In my view . . 

. Make your verbal and nonverbal messages match. Consider- 

• Eye contact • Gestures • Voice tone 

• Posture • Facial expressions 




To Receive Messages • • • 



Focus: 



. Be attentive and show interest with nonverbal messages. Consider- 
• Eye contact • Gestures • Posture • Facial expressions 

. Listen without interrupting. 
Control or ignore distractions. 



Acknowledge: 

Make brief comments to show interest, such as — "I see." "Uh-huh." 

Reflect or restate the message to clarify the sender's message without 

making judgment. 

• Repeat what you hear in your own words. 

• Recognize the sender's feelings such as, "I understand you are 
upset,'' or "I appreciate how you feel." 

• Repeat exact phrases 



Clarify: 



Draw out additional information to improve your understanding. 
"Tell me more . . ." "Do you mean that . . 

"Fm not sure I understand" "Are you feeling . . 

"Would you like to talk about it?" "Let's discuss it ftirther." 



ERIC 



54 

60 



Family Relations 



f Relating to Others 



id 

ERIC 



What is Your Conflict Style? 

Directions: Place a checkmark in the box that indicates how 
often you handle conflict in the way described in each statement. 



1. Avoid the person or situation 

2. Change the subject 

3. Joke about the conflict 

4. Apologize 

5. Give in and keep bad feelings about it to yourself 

6. Try to understand the other person's point of view and consider 
changing your mind 

7. Ask somebody who isn't involved to help everyone involved 
make a final decision 

8. Reach a compromise 

9. Pretend to agree but do what you want later 

10. Argue over the issues 

1 1. Get angry and scream or fight 

12. Pretend there isn't really a problem 

13. Argue over something else less important 

14. Act in ways that hide how you feel 

1 5. Completely take on the other person's view as if it were 
your own 

16. Make excuses for .-^ot dealing with the conflict 

17. Agree with the other person not to oeal with the conflict 

1 8. Talk with the other person and arrive at a resolution 

19. Allow someone else to decide how ihe conflict will be resolved 

20. Harm someone or something 



Based on your responses, decide which of the conflict styles listed below best describes how you handle 
conflict. 

Avoidance* This response reflects the attitude that since conflict is bad and disruptive, those who desire to be seen 
as good should avoid it. More subtle ways of avoiding conflict are denial, in which angry or hurt feel ings are repressed 
instead of expressed, and accommodation, when opponents smooth over a potential conflict by apologizing, making 
excuses, or adapting their behavior to fit the other person's. Avoidance is represented in items 1,2,3, 4, 5, 9, 12, 14, 
15, 16, 17, 19. 

Aggression* The aggressive response reflects the belief that in every conflict, there must be a winner and a loser. 
Confronters are happy to hurl insults or threats. People whose conflict style is confrontational often base their threats 
on the authority or sense of power they consider rightfully theirs. Aggression is represented in items 10, 1 1,13, 20. 

Problem solving. Advocates of this response see conflict as something that happens in the natural scheme of human 
relationships. Their concern is to arrive at a solution that both parties can live with. Problem solvers frequently use 
compromise (in which each party gives up what is less important in order to keep what is most important) or 
collaboration (in which the disputants work together to explore the means by which the needs of both can be met, 
in a "win-win" solution). Problem solving is represented in items 6, 7, 8, 18. 

N....... ————^ 

Adapted from F. S. Bolin, W. E. Bolin, E. Eubanks, G. C. Flynn, H. J. Kramer, and C. Scmggs. Growing Up Caring Teacher's 
Resource Binder, Mission Hills, CA: G!encoe/McGraw-Hill, 1990. 

55 

GI 



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Family Relations 



Relating to Others 




Resolving an Issue 



Resolving as issue in a way hat is best for all parties involves a 
combination of good conmunication skills and good problem-solving 
skills. The steps identified below can help you woric toward resolving 
conflicts in ways that strengthen relationships because they involve acting 
in caring, respectful ways. 

Step 1 Show a genuine interest in resolving the issue. Choose a place to talk where you will be 
free from interruptions. State your goal to resolve the issue fairly for all involved. As 
you go through the process, focus on the problem, rather than making personal comments 
about the people involved. 

Step 2 Take turns stating your positions, interests, and feelings clearly. When others are 
speaking, listen actively without interrupting. Ask questions to clarify the perspectives 
of others. Restate messages from others to clarify what has been said. When all parties 
feel they have had the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts, you are ready 
for the next step. 

Step 3 Make a list of possible solutions. Listen with an open mind and try not to judge any 
possible choices. 

Step 4 Choose a solution that is best for all involved. Make a note beside those solutions that 
are acceptable to more than one party. It may be necessary to integrate different ideas 
into a single solution that may be more agreeable to all. 

Step 5 Make a plan of action. Identify each party's role in carrying out the solution. Question 
others to make sure that they understand their role. 

Step 6 Set a time to talk later and review your progress. 

Some behaviors can make it difficult to use the win- win process and serve as a barrier to reaching 
an agreement. Behaviors to avoid include 

• Blaming 

• Making insults 

• Putting others down 

• Interrupting 

• Being sarcastic 

• Refusing to listen 

• Making threats 

• Making excuses 

• Changing the subject 



C2 



Family Relations 



Assuming a Leadership Role 




C PROCESS A ^ 
MODULE ^ y 



Module Overview 



Practical 
Problem: 



What should I do about assuming a leadership role? 



Process 

Competency 0.0.4: Assume a leadership role as a responsible family member and citizen 
Competency 

Builders: 0.0.4. 1 Identify ways to be a responsible citizen at home, at school, at work, and in 
community settings 

0.0.4.2 Evaluate societal conditions affecting personal, family, and community well- 
being* 

0.0.4.3 Describe visions and goals for families, student organizations, and work groups 
0.0.4.4 Evaluate consequences of cooperative and uncooperative actions 
0.0.4.5 Cooperate with others to achieve group goals 

0.0.4.6 Use planning processes to establish and achieve individual and group goals 
*This competency is addressed in Content Module 8» Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families. 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



1. Cooperation 

2. Leadership and citizenship 

3. Planning process 

4. Societal issues affecting families 



Teacher Note: Since the four process competencies of managing work and family responsibilities, 
solving personal and family problems, relating to others, and assuming a leadership role represent 
skills essential to strong families, the four process modules introducing these skills should be taught 
at the beginning of the Family Relations course. This module introduces the concept of cooperation 
and leadership, as well as the planning of Action Projects. Refer to Overview of the Family Relations 
Resource Guide Process Modules (p. 3) to determine the focus of each process module. 

Since the content of the process competencies remains relatively unchanged over the six core course 
areas of the Work and Family Life program, the teacher background information is the same as that 
printed in previous guides. The learning activities, however, have been designed specifically for this 
course area and complement the content modules found in the rest of the guide. 



57 G3 




Assuming a Leadership Role 



Teacher Background Information 

Rationale 

Leaders are needed wherever there are groups of people. Empowering leaders, rather than authoritarian 
. leaders, are especially needed in our complex, changing global age. Authoritarian leaders have power 
over people, but empowering leaders help people shape their own vision and goals and work toward 
achieving those goals. Leadership must be developed in families and other groups with real issues and 
concerns. Historically, many people believed that leaders were bom, not made, and that great leaders 
were discovered, not developed. However, there is now "consensus among social scientists that leader- 
ship skills and competencies are not inherited from one's ancestors, that they do not magically appear 
when a person is assigned to a leadership position" (Johnson & Johnson, 1987, p. 119). 

Leadership development is ultimately self-development, and can be enhanced in a variety of settings. 
Teachers, employers, and other leaders who have high expectations and support the self-development of 
those they lead can help others develop confidence in their ability to lead and make a difference. Parents, 
however, are perhaps the most influential in developing leadership abilities. One researcher concluded 
that formal education, mentoring, and other activities in adult life have less influence on the development 
of leadership ability than parental expectations and values and skills reinforced very early in life (Kouzes 
&Posner, 1987). 

Most young people face the challenge of genuine leadership for the first time in their teenage years. 
During this important time in their lives, young people need guidance and encouragement to experience 
the realities and rewards of participatory, shared leadership. Family, educational settings, and student 
organizations-such as Future Homemakers of America/Home Economics Related Occupations (FHA/ 
HERO) can provide the laboratories for developing the values, beliefs, and skills underiying empowering 
participatory leadership. Through shared leadership experiences in these settings, young people can 
discover that they can make a difference in the well-being of those around them. 

Background 

Our democratic society is made up of many groups: private groups, such as families; and public groups, 
such as neighborhoods, cities, states, and nations. Within communities are civic, social, educational, 
professional, and religious organizational groups. The purpose of these groups is to help people meet 
their needs for love, caring, sharing, giving and receiving, and belonging, and to resolve family or public 
issues facing group members. 

By joining together, group members are more likely to have their needs met than if they try to meet their 
needs alone. Many human needs, such as loving, caring, sharing, and giving and receiving, can be met 
only through groups, such as the family or social or religious groups. To resolve issues affecting group 
members, groups need to ( 1 ) complete tasks and (2) maintain effective working relationships between the 
members. 



ERIC G4 



Assuming a Leadership Role 



C PROCESS A ^ 
MODULE ^ y 

Leadership is the process of helping a group shape a vision of its purpose and goals, and of getting 
people-both inside and outside the group-to commit and recommit themselves to accomplishing that 
vision (Woyach, 1991). Effective leadership styles, regardless of the personality or style of the leader, 
satisfy the group members' needs, achieve their goals, and build the group members' abilities and self- 
esteem. Leaders who empower others help group members feel confident to act on their own 
authority-on their own judgment-and support the decisions made, even if the decisions are mistakes. 
True leaders view mistakes as opportunities for learning rather than as opportunities for humiliation 
(Aburdene & Naisbitt, 1992). 

Leaders are needed in groups to help group members shape a shared sense of purpose or vision, get things 
done to meet their needs and goals, and create a cooperative relationship between members. Shared 
participator}' leadership, one of the three leadership styles shown in Figure 1 , has been shown to be.the 
most effective in increasing production, innovation, and responsible self-direction and initiative (Peters & 
Austin, 1985; Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Johnson & Johnson, 1987). Shared leadership encompasses the 
following: 




1 .All group members can and should perform leadership functions appropriate to each person and to 

group needs. Any member can influence group behavior. 
2. The leader of the group encourages other group members to make decisions and initiate action 

without seeking the leader's approval (Came vale et al., 1990). 



Figure 1 

Consequences of Leadership Styles 



Management: 
Authority Powers 



Leadership: 
-Empowering Others 



Director Style- 



Control 

Direct 



Supervise 
Oversee 



Goal: 

Dependent 
Members 



■Shared Democratic Style 

Involve 
Cooperate 
Negotiate 
Organize 



Empowered, 
Interdependent 
Members 



-Delegator Style 



Inspire 
Influence 
Delegate 
Explain 



Empowered, 
Independent 
Members 



ERIC 



59 6d 




Assuming a Leadership Role 



r PROCESS A \ 
MOPinLE J 

Strong, healthy families-our smallest democracies-are characterized by interactive shared leadership 
styles. For instance, healthy families allow all members of the family to be included in family problem 
solving when they are likely to have an opinion. Such interactive, participatory, shared leadership has 
been shown to be effective in all types of groups and organizations in increasing the resDonsible self- 
direction, initiative, and morale of all group members and the quality of decisions and v;ork (Reters & 
Austin, 1985; Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Johnson & Johnson, 1987), 

Thus, different members of a group can share leadership by assuming the behaviors needed to lead to the 
success of the group. For example, in families each spouse may assume behaviors necessary to complete 
food-preparation or money-management tasks at different times in the family life cycle, and similarly, 
each may assume nurturing or caring behaviors to maintain collaborative relationships in the family. In 
social or civic groups, each group member may become a leader by proposing activities to complete a 
task, or to reduce tensions between other group members. 

Responsible citizenship in a democratic society involves individual accountability and action for the 
common good of the group. Being a responsible family member requires taking action for the common 
good of the family-not action for the good of individuals in the family to the detriment of another family 
member or the family as a whole. Similariy, being a responsible citizen requires taking action for the 
common good of community members. Responsible citizenship begins in families as children learn to 
care for themselves, family members, pets, their home, and neighborhood. 

Responsible citizens are concerned about the well-being of all society members and take social action to 
meet those needs. Such action can range from providing social services to those in need of mercy and 
compassion, to working for social justice for those being oppressed, mistreated, or denied their rights. 
Such social-justice action might take the form of advocating justice in individual cases or working for 
public policy change. Social action for public policy development, like other responsible citizenship, 
should bring about change and transformation for the good of citizens in the community, state, nation, or 
world. 

To successfully bring about social change, six principles of social transformation provide guidance for 
social action (Aburdene & Naisbitt, 1992), Responsible citizens 

1 . Use a win-win perspective rather than a win-lose perspective 

2. Begin at the grass roots rather than at the top 

3. Use what works (and is right) rather than what is "politically correct" 

4. Work toward choice rather than from bureaucratic limitations 

5. Become advocates rather than victims 

6. Invest in entrepreneurs rather than providing government aid 

More than ever before, shared democratic leadership is needed in families, workplaces, communities, and 
government at all levels. Such responsible citizenship will bring about the social action and change that is 
needed for the common good of our global community. 



60 G6 



Assuming a Leadership Role 




C PROCESS A A 
MODULE ^ J 



Vocational student organizations provide a unique program of career and leadership development, moti- 
vation, and recognition exclusively for middle and junior high, secondary, postsecondary, adult, and 
collegiate students enrolled in vocational education programs. The U.S. Department of Education recog- 
nizes vocational student organizations as integral to the vocational education program. 

FHA/HERO encourages personal growth, leadership development, family and community involvement, 
and preparation for the multiple adult roles of wage earner, community leader, and family member. 
Involvement in FHA/HERO offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and 
develop skills necessary in the home and workplace for life-planning, goal setting, problem solving, 
decision making, and interpersonal communication. 

References 

Aburdene, P., & Naisbitt, J. (1992). Megatrends for women. New York: Willard Books. 

Bennis, W., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York: HarperCollins. 

Camevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Meltzer, A. S. (1990). Workplace basics: The essential skills employ- 
ers want, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 

Future Homemakers of America, Inc. (1991 ). FHA/HERO chapter Handbook. Reston, VA: Future 
Homemakers of America, Inc. 

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1987). Learning together and alone, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: 
Prentice- Hall. 

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1987). The leadership challenge: How to get extraordinary things done 
in organizations, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 

Peters, T., & Austin, N. (1985). A passion for excellence: The leadership difference. New York: 
Warner Books. 

Woyach, R. B. ( 1 99 1 ). Preparing for leadership: A young adults ' guide to leadership skills in a global 
age, ISLIed. Columbus, Ohio: Mershon Center, TheDhio State University. 



ERIC 



61 



G7 




Assuming a Leadership Role 



C PROCESS A ^ 
MODULE y 



h Cooperation 



Learning Activities 

a. Write a story about a recent experience you had in which you were cooperating 
in a group to reach a common goal. Your story could focus on a family, school, 
work, or community group. In pairs, share your stories and identify behaviors 
described that illustrate cooperation. As a class, develop a definition of coopera- 
tion and list skills needed to cooperate in a group. Compare your list with those 
skills identified on Assessing Team Cooperation (p. 68). Share your responses. 

Discussion Questions 

• What are the consequences of cooperative actions? Uncooperative actions? 

• Why are cooperative skills important to a family? School? A workplace? 
Community settings? 

• What cooperative skills do you possess now? Which would you like to develop 
further? 

b. Collect examples of good cooperation in families and other groups and post them 
in the classroom. Examples might include newspaper or magazine articles or 
written summaries of television programs or literature. As each example is 
contributed; explain how the situation shows what cooperation can achieve. 



Teacher Note: This assignment could be ongoing throughout the Family 
Relations course. Students could be given rcv/ards or participation points for 
contributing articles or summaries to the display. 



FHA/HERO: Using classroom resources such as FHA/HERO scrapbooks and 
materials used in previous classes and FHA/HERO state materials and informa- 
tion, develop your classroom FHA/HERO community by completing the follow- 
ing activities. 

(1) Review the FHA/HERO structure. Identify activities and events that you can 
be involved in at various levels. 

(2) Elect FHA/HERO officers for your classroom chapter. Define officer duties 
to include classroom management activities (for example, the FHA/HERO 
Secretary can also keep the classroom attendance). 

(3) Using Robert's Rules of Order and other FHA/HERO materials, review 
basic pariiamentary procedure. Hold your first chapter meeting using the 
Meeting Agenda (p. 69 ) as a guide. 

(4) Using the Family Relations Research Teams formed in Process Module 3: 
Relating to Others, establish committees for various topics in the Family 



ERIC 



62 



68 



Assuming a Leadership Role 



C PROCESS A \ 
MODULE ^ y 



Relations course. Each committee will set goals and plan events and 
activities for the chapter around that topic. Possible events might include 
classroom speakers, Star Event participation, school awareness programs, 
displays or community service projects. The plan for these activities will be 
developed by participating in further learning activities in this module. 

Discussion Questions 

• What skills can you develop as a result of your participation in FH A/HERO? 

• Why is your FH A/HERO chapter an important part of the Family Relations 
class? 

• What skills developed through FHA/HFRO participation would also be impor- 
tant in building a strong family? 

• Why is parliamentary procedure important when making decisions in a large 
group? 

• How can the principles of parliamentary procedure be used when making 
decisions as a family? 



Teacher Note: If your school district or local organizations or businesses in 
your community are using total quality management (TQM), you may want to 
implement this process with your FHA/HERO chapter. Using Total Quality 
Management (p. 70) provides an overview of TQM and identifies resources 
for implementing this management strategy. 



Action Project: Choose a decision-making group in your community such as a 
school board or city council. Attend one or more meetings of the group and 
observe the way that the group makes decisions and takes action on community 
issues. Using your observations, answer the questions below. Make an oral 
report to the class about your experience. 

(1) What issues were before the group? How might those issues affect families 
in your community? 

(2) What solutions were proposed? What were the pros and cons of each 
solution? 

(3) How did the group go about resolving conflict or taking action on issues? 

(4) Did the group use parliamentary procedure to resolve conflict? Reach a 
decision? 

(5) Why do you think a group like the one you observed uses pariiamentary 
procedure? 

(6) How is the public policy making you observed similar to and/or different 
from the policy making that occurs within families? 



ERIC 



63 



G9 




Assuming a Leadership Role 



2. Leadership 
and citizenship 



a. 



In paus, make a list of specific actions or personal qualities that distinguish 
responsible citizenship. Choose the five characteristics that are most important for 
responsible citizenship and share your list of five with the class. Note the similari- 
ties and differences between your list and those of other groups. Use resources to 
research the definitions of the words responsible and citizen and compare the 
characteristics you identified with the definitions. 



Discussion Questions 

• Why is responsible citizenship important to families? In a school? On the job? 
In a community? 

• How does responsible citizenship differ from what would be considered irre- 
sponsible citizenship? 

• What are the consequences of irresponsible citizenship for families? Work 
settings? Communities? 



FHA/HERO: Invite a panel of citizens from your community who have taken a 
leadership role with regard to family relations issues. Possible panel members 
might include family members committed to community service, professionals 
from school, work settings, or community organizations involved in family 
relations issues. Ask the panel members to explain several family relations issues 
with which they have been involved and to describe what it means to take a 
leadership role as a citizen in the setting(s) in which they work. In listening teams, 
choose one of the tasks below and report your findings after the panel presenta- 
tion. 



(1) Identify the leadership characteristics exhibited by the panel. Explain what 
good leadership is, based on their actions and experiences. 

(2) Explain the similarities and differences between being a community leader 
and being a leader in a family. 

(2) Identify family relations issues in which the panel members have been in- 
volved. List reasons why taking action on these issues is important to the 
panelists. Explain the significance of these issues to individuals^ families, 
and the community as a whole. 



c. Complete Being a Leader as a Citizen (p. 7 1 ). Share your responses with the 
class. 



Discussion Questions 

♦ What is the difference between being a citizen and being a leader as a citizen? 

♦ What are the consequences of being a responsible citizen, but not assuming any 
roles as a leader? 

♦ What opportunities have you had to assume a role as a leading citizen ? 



ERIC 



64 



7U 



Assuming a Leadership Role 



C PROCESS A \ 
MODULE ^ y 



• How can you develop future opportunities to assume a role as a leading 
citizen? 

• What barriers might exist to prevent assuming a role as a leading citizen? How 
could one overcome these barriers? 

d. Complete Three Styles of Family Leadership (p. 72). Read Shared Leader- 
ship for Family, Work, and Community Life (p. 73), Explain ways that shared 
leadership can be used in a family and in your FHA/HERO chapter. Write a 
journal entry reflecting on this activity using the questions below. 



( 1 ) Which style of leadership should be used in families? In your FHA/HERO 
chapter? Why? 

(2) What are the consequences of using this type of leadership? 

(3) What skills, values, and attitudes do people need to practice this style of 
leadership in families and other groups? 

Discussion Questions 

• Why are leaders important to groups? 

• Does it make a difference what type of leadership style is used? 

• What personal qualities are important to leadership? 

• In what settings is leadership important? 

e. Action Project: Choose a leader in the workplace, the community, or in an 
organization related to family relations issues. Follow the leader as he or she 
performs duties related to their leadership role. Interview the leader to determine 
how he or she became a leader. Reflect on the leadership skills you observe by 
writing a report that addresses the questions below. 

(1) How oid the person you shadowed illustrate leadership? 

(2) What influenced this person to become a leader? 

(3) What leadership skills were used? 

(4) What challenging leadership situations did this leader face? 

(5) What skills did you observe being used that you possess? 

(6) What skills did you observe that could be used in other settings? 




3. Planning FHA/HERO: Using resources, identify the stages of the FHA/HERO Planning 

process Process. In Family Relations Research Teams, use the process to develop a plan 

for your activities and projects related to the goals you established in Activity lb. 
Present your plan to the chapter. 

Discussion Questions 

• How did the planning process assist you in working together to take action as a 
group? 



ERIC 



/f 



c 



m 

PROCESS A "\ 



MODULE ^ y 



Assuming a Leadership Role 



• How could using the planning process make accomplishing a group task 
easier? 

• How could you use the planning process at home? In a work setting? In a 
community setting? 

b. Action Project: Read Introducing Action Projects (p. 74). On a poster, mak^ 
a concept map by drawing a circle and labeling it **Reasons Why Action Projects 
are an Important Part of Family Relations Class." Draw lines outward from the 
circle with each representing a reason Action Projects are important. Display in 
the classroom. Use the planning process to plan your Action Project. Use ideas 
from the FHA/HERO Power of One Family Ties Project as well as ideas identi- 
fied throughout the various modules in this Resource Guide. 



Paper and Pencil 

1 . Identify at least three ways to be a responsible citizen in each of the following settings: at home, at 
school, at work, and in the community. 

2. Given case studies of families, student organizations, and work groups, describe the visions and goals 
of each group. 

3. Given examples of cooperative and uncooperative actions, identify the consequences of each action 
for those involved. 

4. Without the aid of references, identify at least five behaviors that can be used to cooperate with others 
to achieve group goals. 

5. Given a case study, use the planning process to achieve individual and group goals. 
Classroom Experiences 

1 . Write a story about a recent experience you had in which you were cooperating in a group to reach a 
common goal. 

2. In cooperative learning groups, set a goal related to a family relations topic and design a plan of 
activities and projects related to that goal 



Assessment 



66 




m 




Assuming a Leadership Role 



C 



MODULE ^ y 



Application to Real-life Settings 

1 . Choose a decision-making group in your community such as a school board or city council. Attend 
one or more meetings of the group and observe the way that the group makes decisions and takes 
action on community issues. Make an oral report to the class about your experience. 

2. Choose a leader in the workplace, the community, or in an organization related to family relations 
issues. Follow the leader as he or she performs duties related to their leadership role. Reflect on the 
leadership skills you observe by writing a report that summarizes your observations about leadership. 

3. In cooperative learning groups, develop a plan of community service activities and projects related to 
a family relations issue. 





ERLC 



Family Relations. 



Assuming a Leadership Role 



Assessing Team Cooperation 




Good cooperation means working to form good relationships with other group members as well as achieving group 
goals. You can use the items below to assess how well a group cooperates, or you can use it to assess your own 
actions as a member of a group. Circle the rating for each skill according to the following scale: 

3 = Consistently perform this skill 2 = Occasionally perform this skill 1 = Rarely perform this skill 
Skills to form good working relationships with others 

1 . Listen to others* ideas, opinions, and feelings 3 

2. Encourage others and compliment contributions 3 

3. Support others in their efforts to contribute to the group 3 

4. Ask questions when you do not understand something 3 

5. Give feedback to others 3 
« 6. Contribute ideas, opinions, and feelings 3 

7. Assist in reaching group consensus 3 

8. Recognize and deal with communication barriers 3 

To work to achieve group goals 

9. Assist in identifying group goals 3 

10. Assist in planning to organize the group activities 3 

11. Complete responsibilities assigned to you 3 

12. Share materials with others 3 

1 3. Identify and resolve problems promptly 3 

14. Use techniques such as consensus and compromise to 3 
resolve problems fairly 

1 5. Give feedback about group progress and results 3 

Based on the above responses, on a scale of 1 to 10 w'th ten being the most cooperative and 1 being the 
least cooperative, how would you rate your group? 

How would you rate yourself as a group member? 



2 
2 
2 
2 
2 
2 
2 
2 

2 
2 
2 
2 
2 
2 



Reflection Questions 

• What are your strengths in the area of cooperative skills? 

• What are your strengths as a group ? 

• What cooperative skills do you need to improve? Why? 

• What actions should you take to improve your cooperative skills? 



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74 



Family Relations 



f Assuming a Leadership Role 




Meeting Agenda 

The following meeting agenda can help you organize your FHA/HERO Meetings 

Agenda Item Person Responsible 

Opening Ceremony and Call to Order President 

Roll Call Secretary 

Reading and Approval of Minutes of the Previous Meeting Secretary 

Officer Report President — Special Things Done 

Vice-President — Future Programs 
Secretary — Correspondence 
Treasurer — Approval or corrected 
Treasurer's Report — 
report filed 

Report of the Committees 

Standing or all-year committees Committee chairman gives report 

to Secretary 

Special or one-time committees Committee chairman gives report 

to Secretary 

Unfinished Business Secretary reminds from the minutes 



Item 


Motion 


Second 


Vote 












Item 


Motion 


Second 


Vote 











Announcements President 

Program ^^^^ President 

Closing Ceremony and Adjournment President 



69 

7o 



Fainily Relations 



f Assuming a Leadership Role 




Using Total Quality Management 

Total Quality Management (TQM) can be used as a tool to help an FHA/HERO chapter work together to 
solve problems, elect officers, establish committees, and create plans for chapter activities. Through TQM 
a chapter can J^'^ 

• clearly define its purpose or vision j^^^^^^^^ ^ ^ 

• identify specific outcomes 

• demonstrate commitment to quality 

• determine quality standards and requirements 

• encourage total member involvement and teamwork "'"^ §| 

• make continuous improvement 

As you organize your FHA/HERO chapter, consider one or more of the following TQfiY activities: 
Elections 

• Use a flowchart to diagram and provide a pictorial view of the election progress. 

• Brainstorm ideas on what makes a good officer. 

• Create an Affinity Diagram to identifyofficer duties. The group brainstorms officer duties then arranges 
and rearranges the duties to match the various officer categories. 

• Use Force Field Analysis to identify the driving and constraining forces in becoming an officer. A large 
sheet of paper is divided in half and members list the drivers on the left side and the restrainers on the right 
side before analyzing the forces affecting becoming an officer. 

Committees 

• Brainstorm why committees are needed. 

• Use the Crawford Slip Method to allow chapter members to choose a committee on which to work. The 
Crawford Slip Method involves everyone writing their ideas about a specific subject, one at a time, on a 
single sentence on a separate slip of paper. All slips are collected and classified and the results edited into 
a final form. 

Chapter Program of Work 

• Conduct a Buzz Session to generate ideas for chapter activities. 

• Use Nominal Group Technique to prioritize activities for a calendar of events thai involves all students 
in the decision-making process. Brainstorm all ideas, then select about half of them for prioritization. 
Rank the most significant. Repeat the ranking procedure until you have ranked the top five activities for 
a calendar of events. 

These arc just a few ideas for incorporating TQM into your FHA/HERO chapter. The following references 
can provide further information. 

Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA). Total Quality Curriculum. Lccsburg» VA: VICA, 1993. 
(Available from National VICA, Education Department, P. O. Box 3(XX). Leesburg, VA 22075). 

Bonstingl, J.J. Schools of Quality: An Introduction to Total Quality Management in Education. Alexandria, 
VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1992. 

Deming, W. E. Out of Crisis. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989. 

Ncuroth J., Plastrick P., and Cleveland* J. Total Quality Management Handbook. Lansing, MI: On Purpose 
Associates, 1992. 



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76 



Family Relations 



Assuming a Leadership Role 



Being a Leader as a Citizen 

Complete the items below. 

1. My definition of feorfmftip is 

2. Being a leader 



in a family means 


at school or work means 


in the community means 









3. The skills needed for leadership are 



These skills are important because 



4. The values needed for leadership are 



These values are important because 



A responsible citizen fulfills certain responsibilities in ways that are best for self and others. 
Being a leader as a citizen means going beyond fulfilling responsibilities to lead others to action 
or change that impacts others in the group in a positive way. For instance, being a responsible 
citizen in a family might mean caring for young children. B. ng a leader as a citizen in a family 
might mean recognizing the need to support legislation that promotes the well being of children 
and organizing other families to inform legislators about that need. Using the space below and 
the back of this page, list examples of citizenship behaviors and leading behaviors in family, 
school, work, and community settings. 



Being a Citizen 


Being a Leader as a Citizen 







ERIC 



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Family Relations 



f Assuming a Leadership Role 



Three Styles of Family Leadership 

Leadership is important in families. With effective leadership, a family can satisfy the needs of family members, 
achieve family goals, and build the family members' abilities and self-esteem. There are several styles of 
leadership, each having different goals and outcomes. 

• The director style uses authority and power to control, direct, supervise, and oversee family members. Having 
family members depend on the family leader is the goal of this style. 

• The shared democratic style of leadership has as its goal empowered, interdependent members. This type of 
leader involves other family members in making decisions, fosters cooperation, and negoUates differences. 

• The delegator style of leadership influences members by explaining and delegating what is to be done. The goal 
is for family members to be independent. 

Read the case studies below and answer the reflection questions to determine the consequences of various 
styles of leadership in families. 



Case Study 1: Director Style 

The Stevens are an extended family since Grandma 
Davis, Mrs. Stevens' mother, has moved in with 
them. Grandma has become very controlling with 
the household. She directs family members in 
what to do and how to do it. Mrs. Stevens is worried 
about talking with her mother because she doesn't 
want to hurt her. 



Case Study 2: Shared Democratic Style 

Mr. Winter is a single father raising his daughters 
Alicia, 14, and Jennifer, 10. Mr. Winter and his 
two daughters have always been very close and 
make many of their decisions together. They hold 
family meetings and allow each family member to 
contribute to the discussion of problems. Mr. Win- 
ter is usually willing to negotiate with his daugh- 
ters. Recently, he noticed Alicia has been very 
angry and withdrawn. She'sbeen very mean to her 
younger sister. He's very worried about her and 
wants to help her. 



Case Study 3: Delegator Style 
Tom and Janet Jefferson have been mairied almost 
twenty years. They have three children David, 9, 
Karen, 10, and Michael, 18. Janet has worked 
part-time off and on during the last twenty years, 
but recently she has started working full-time to 
help pay for Michael's college expenses. Since 
she's working, she's delegated many of the house- 
hold tasks to Karen, including making dinner and 
taking care of David. Karen is getting very an- 
noyed with her extra duties, and feels like she is 
doing all the work herself. She also knows her 
mother is sacrificing quite a bit. 



Reflective Dialogue Questions 

What is happening here? 

How do you think Grandma feels? Why? 

How do you think Mrs. Stevens feels? Why? 

How might the other family members feel? Why? 

What action would you recommend? 

What would be the consequences of that action ? 

How do Grandma's actions illustrate the director 

style of leadership? 
What are the consequences of this leadership 

style? 



What is happening here? 

What action would you recommend? 

What would be the consequences of that action? 

How do Mr. Winters actions illustrate the shared 

democratic style of leadership? 
What are the consequences of this style? 
How can you tell? 

How can Mr Winter help his family? 



What is happening here? 

What are some of the goals in this family? 

How is Karen feeling? 

How is Janet feeling? 

How might Michael feel? 

What type of leadership style does Janet show ? 

What might be the consequences of this style? 



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?8 



Family Relations 



f Assuming a Leadership Role 



Shared Leadership 

For Family, Work, and Community Life 

Leadership is the process of helping a group shape its vision and goals and working to accomplish them. 
Shared leadership means that all group members can contribute leadership skills to the group and that 
leaders in the group encourage everyone to help make decisions and to take action. The chart below 
shows the values, beliefs, and skills important to shared leadership. 



The Heart:. 

Values 



Good Work: 
Excellent quality; 
individual account- 
ability, dedication, 
and commitment 



Caring/Loving: 
Concern for the 
welfare of others 



Justice: 

Equal treatment 
and respect for 
integrity of all 
individuals 



Best consequences: 
Actions benefit, 
not harm, all who 
are or will be 
affected by short- 
term and long-term 
effects 



The Head: - 

Thoughts or 
Beliefs 



Ownership: 
Everyone in an 
organization is 
responsible for its 
success. 



Interdependence: 
Everyone is connected 
by providing support 
for others. 



Golden Rule: 
Take care of people, 
and those you serve 
will take care of you. 



Thinking: 
Practical problem 
solving, planning, 
goal setting, and 
learning are needed 
for group success. 



^The Hand: 

Skills for Doing 



Helping groups make 
decisions 



Empathizing and 
learning to understand 
other people 



Building confidence 
in others 



Communicating with 
others 



Resolving conflict 



Motivating members 



Building a coalition 
of outside support 



Being an advocate for 
the group 



.The Results: 

Empowerment of 
Others 

• People feel 
significant. 



People make 

positive 

contribiitions. 



Organization 
achieves its goals. 



People are 
dedicated, caring, 
and innovative. 



People feel a part 
of the group and 
want to make it a 
success. 



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t a 



Family Relations 



P Assuming a Leadership Role 

Introducing ^|^Projects 



Action Projects are opportunities for you to apply what you have learned in Family Relations class to real-life 
settings— in other words, to put what you have learned into ACTION. You will choose your own Action Project 
based on your interest and needs. 

The first step in completing an Action Project is to plan the project. You may seek the help of parents, classmates, 
teachers, and community members as you plan the project, depending on the direction of your project. Begin your 
planning by identifying a practical problem on which you would like to take action. The problem must be related 
to Family Relations topics. Some sample problems are identified below. Additional examples of Action Projects 
^yill be given throughout the Family Relations course. 



Practical Problem Related to Family 
Relations Topic 

How should I go about meeting the needs of 
families in the community? 

What should I do about building a strong 
family? 

What should I do about developing family 
communication skills? 



Possible Action 

Volunteer at a community agency that serves the needs 
of families. 

Plan and conduct activities to strengthen your family 
relationship. 

Develop a goal to improve your interaction with family 
members. Keep a journal of your progress. 



Student Responsibilities for 
Action Projects 

1 . The project must take a minimum of 1 5 
hours of time to complete. You may 
choose one practical problem as your 
focus or a combination of two or threo 
depending on your interests and neeus. 

2. The project must be completed and all 
work turned in by 



3. Ask for help when needed. 



4. If you need to make changes in your 
original plan for the project, discuss 
these changes with your teacher 

and your parent or adult mentor. 

5. Complete the Action Project Planning 
Form (p. 75) and the Action Project 
Assessment Form (p. 76). 

6. Keep parent or adult mentor and your 
teacher informed about your project. 

7. Present the results of your project in a 
five minute presentation to the class. 



Teacher Responsibilities for 
Action Projects 

1. Meet with each student 
to plan the project and 
check progress. 



I. Be available to visit the 
project site if needed 
for hold progress 
conference with the 
responsible adult. 

3. Suggest helpful 
resources when needed. 

4. Assist the student in 
evaluating the Action 
Project. 



5 . Keep parent or adult 
mentor informed of 
progress. 



Parent or Adult Mentor 
Responsibilities 

1. Meet with the student to 
plan the project. Sign 
the completed Action 
Project Planning Form. 



2. Suggest resources when 
needed. 



3. Check progress of 
project. 

4. Assist in evaluating the 
completed project. 



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SO 




Assuming a Leadership Role 



n Project Planning Form 



Name 
Grade 
Course 



Project Time line: 

Initial Conference with Teacher 
Signed Planning Form Due Date 
Date Project Started 
Checkpoint Date 
Date Project Completed 
Conference Held 
Oral Presentation Date 
Project Due Date 

Practical Problem Statement: 



School Yeai^ 



Project Description: 



Goals of the Project: 



Plan for Action: 



Signature of Student: 



Signature of Parent or Adult Mentor: 
Signature of Teacher: 



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^ 1 

oi 



Faniilv Relations 



f Assuming a Leadership Role 



iect Assessment Form 



Description of Project: 



Total Hours Spent on This Project: . 



On a separate sheet of paper, answer the questions below. Attach your responses to this form. 

1 . Why did you choose this project? 

2. Did you accomplish your goals for this project? Why or why not? 

3. What did you learn from this project? 

4. How was the project of value to you, your family, and/or your community? 

5. What did you well with regard to this project? What would you change if you did the project agam? 

Using the rating scale below, assign a rating to each of the statements. Then give this form to your parent or 
adult mentor and to your teacher to add their assessment. You may ask them to provide wntten comments 
on the back of this form. 

4 = Strongly agree 3 = Agree somewhat 2 = Disagree somewhat 1 = Strongly disagree 

Student Parent or Adult Teacher 

Assessment Mentor Assessment Assessment 



A. The project was of value to the 
student and others. 

B. The project was a good use of the 
student*s time. 

C. The student planned the project 
well. 

D. The student accomplished all of the 
established goals for the project. 

Total 



Student Signature : 
Comments: 



Parent or Adult Mentor Signature: 
Comments: 



Teacher Signature: , 
Comments: 



76 82 



Fannly Relations 



Analyzing the Significance of Families 



1 


,1 

J 




r CONTENT t ^ 
MODULE A J 



Module Overview 

Practical 

Problem: What should I do about the significance of families? 
Content 

Competency 5.0,1: Analyze the significance of the family 

Explore the meanings of family 
Analyze functions of the family 
Assess the role of the family in developing values 
Identify stages of the family life cycle 
Identify various family systems 
Analyze trends in family compc^sition in America 
Analyze impact of social and cultural diversity on the family 

Supporting 

Concepts: 1. Meaning of family 

2. Functions of families 

3. Family life cycle 

4. Family composition 

5. Social and cultural influences 



Competency 

Builders: 5.0.1.1 
5.0.1.2 
5.0.1.3 
5.0.1.4 
5.0.1.5 
5.0.1.6 
5.0.1.7 



ERLC 



Rationale 



Teacher Background Information 



Every society has four common goals: to ensure the survival and growth of infants and children into 
adulthood; to channel critical resources to its members; to provide the skills and knowledge needed to 
adapt to changing demands; and to foster the succession of generations so that as one generation of adults 
ages and dies the next generation is ready to assume leadership. Families perform critical functions that 
help achieve each of these four goals. 

Families are one of the very few institutions in which people have the opportunity to form long-term 
intimate relationships. The quality of family relationships plays a key role in the well-being of family 
members, the effectiveness of the socialization process, and the ability of individuals from each family to 



c 



m 

" CONTENT 1 ^ 



Analyzing the Significance of Families 



MODULE ^ J 



be effective in school, work, and community. What is more, the family relationships one observes and 
experiences as a child provide the initial script for enacting adult family roles such as spouse and parent. 

Background 

As our society has changed, so has our definition of family. An early definition provided by Burgess and 
Locke (1945) defined family as **a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption; 
constituting a single household; interacting and communicating with each other in their respective social 
roles (husband and wife, mother and father, son and daughter, brother and sister); and creating and maintain- 
ing a common culture." (p. 8). More recent definitions have become less restrictive in some respects, and 
more focused on the socioemotional and mental health functions of families. 

Compare the definition given above by Burgess and Locke to that provided in a recent textbook. Marriages 
and Families: Making Choices and Facing Change, by,Lamanna and Riedmann (1991, 4th ed.) "A family 
is any sexually expressive or parent-child relationship in which people-usually related by ancestry, mar- 
riage, or adoption- 1) live together with commitment, 2) form an economic unit and care for any young, and 
3) find their identity as importantly attached to the group." (p. 6). As with other recent definitions of family, 
this definition reflects the many arrangements of individuals who enjoy intimacy and serve a nurturing 
function for one another but who may not be engaged in the reproductive function and who may not be 
married. 

Thus, some family scientists define a family as a group of individuals who share a theme and goals, a long- 
term commitment to one another, and resources, often including a common living space. Many family 
scholars think of family more as a process, a system of developing, meaningful relationships in which 
intimacy and continuity can provide the feelings of trust and well-being that serve as a foundation for 
optimism and a feeling of hopefulness about the future. This process is '»v^t only important for children 
growing up, but for adults with each other, and for adults and their agmg parents. 

In our society, the legal definition of family has important implications. From a legal perspective, the 
family has its beginning in the act of marriage which establishes the rights, responsibilities, and obligations 
of marital partners a3 well as of other kinship bonds such as parent-child, grandparent-grandchild, or in- 
laws. The legal definition of family has implications for contractual agreements, private insurance benefac- 
tors, health insurance benefits, and government social services. 

These family definitions make reference to structure-the people in the family and their formal relationships- 
husband, wife, father, mother, child, etc. Some definitions emphasize the nuclear family (marital partners 
and their children through birth and/or adoption), broader definitions encompass cohabiting couples in a 
long-term relationship including couples of the same sex, couples who are childless, communal arrange- 
ments, and extended family relationships including the creation of kin-like ties with close friends who have 
a special commitment to protecting and promoting one*s family. 

None of these family forms is new in modem times. They have all existed in eariier periods of history, 
including eariy American history. Single parent families are more likely to arise through divorce in modem 



ERLC 



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Analyzing the Significance of Families 



C CONTENT 1 ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



times as compared to widowhood in the past. And family size has definitely declined over the past years. 
Perhaps what has changed more dramatically is the number of adults and children who experience several 
family forms as they go through the transitions from marriage to divorce, a single-parent family, and remar- 
riage, and in the process become attached to a large and complex kinship network. This change introduces 
new demands for building and managing family relations across generations and among a number of family 
boundaries. Examples of major changes in family structure from 1970 to 1991 are illustrated in Changes in 
Family Structure (p. 99). 

Family functions refer to meeting the needs of family members. These functions differ from one society or 
culture to the next, and the significance of the functions varies depending on the stage of the family's 
development and the needs of its members. Most scholars agree that families in modem, post-industrial 
societies serve at least three critical functions: they provide the basis for emotional support and intimacy; 
they serve as a primary source of economic support, including meeting basic needs for food, clothing, 
shelter, and physical safety; and they serve as the basic reproductive and childrearing unit. Contemporary 
dialogue about the roles and strengths of modem families often focuses on the ability or inability of families 
to carry out these functions adequately. 

Families are a special type of group in that they are usually comprised of members who are at very different 
developmental levels and whose fates are interdependent. Family scholars are interested in understanding 
how families change over time. A major framework for examining this question is called the Family Devel- 
opment Perspective. This perspective refers to a study of the pattemed changes in family structure, role 
definition, communication, and resource distribution that take place as family members meet changing 
demands and adapt to ongoing life stresses. The perspective assumes that family members are interdepen- 
dent, and that as one changes, so do the others. The perspective also assumes that there are age-related 
changes in the needs and competencies of each family member as well as in the demands and resources of 
the family group. By looking at changes in family size, age composition, and occupational status of the 
breadwinners, seven stages of family development have been identified: 

1 . Newly established couple (childless) 

2. Childbearing families (infants and preschool children) 

3. Families with schoolchildren (one or more children of school age) 

4. Families with secondary-schoolchildren (one or more children in adolescence) 

5. Families with young adults (one or more children aged 18 or over) 

6. Families in the middle years (children launched from parental household) 

7. Aging families (parents in retirement) 

These stages are useful in comparing families, especially in understanding the potential impact of a life 
event on families at different points in family development and for thinking about changing priorities of 
family functions. The stages are also useful in making historical comparisons about how the timing of 
family transitions and the resulting changes in adaptive behaviors have changed over time. Finally, the stage 
model is useful in understanding processes of individual and family adaptation as family members adapt to 
normative and non normative family transitions. 




79 




Analyzing the Significance of Families 



C CONTENT 1 ^ 
MODULE J- J 



However, the model is limited in its usefulness since not all families mdve through all these stages, and 
some families are formed after some of the stages have already passed. Families may begin outside the 
marital relationship when unwed adolescents or older women have babies. Some families remain child- 
less; some families are formed after remarriage when toddlers, school-age children, or adolescents are 
present from the start. As a result of widowhood and divorce, many adults create new families after 
having completed many of the stages of family development in a previous family. And some families 
include aging grandparents, parental adults, and young children in the same household. These variations 
are important for understanding challenges that family members face in building and sustaining effective 
relationships. 

Changes in life expectancy have important implications for the patterns of change and growth in family ' 
development. For people bom in 1920, the life expectancy was 54; for those bom in 1990, the life 
expectancy was 75. For those who reached age 65 in 1990, the life expectancy is another 15 to 19 years. 
As a result of this longer life span, couples have a longer time period together after their children reach 
adulthood. Adults are likely to have a longer time for a relationship with their aging parents. The number 
of four generation families is growing, extending the possibility for a sense of family history, tradition, 
and continuity through direct sharing from one generation to the next over a much longer period of time. 

References 

Bristor, M. W. (1990). Individuals, families, and environments, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt. 

Burgess, E., & Locke H. (1945). The family: From institution to companionship. New York: American 
Book Co. 

Kephart, W. M.v & Jedlicka, D. (1991). The family, society, and the individual. (7th ed.) New York: 
Harper Collins. 

Lamanna, M. A., & Riedmann, A. ( 1 99 1 ). Marriages and families: Making choices and facing chonge. 
Belmont, CA; Wadsworth. 

Mattessich, P., & Hill, R. (1987). Life cycle and family development. In Sussman, M. B., & Steinmetz, 
S.K. (Eds.) (1987). Handbookof marriage and the family. New York: Plenum Press, 437-469. 

Settles, B. H. (1987). A perspective on tomorrow's families. In Sussman, M. B., & Steinmetz, S. K. 
(Eds.) (1987). Handbookof marriage and the family. New York: Plenum Press, 157-180. 

Sussman, M. B., & Steinmetz, S. K. (Eds.) (1987). Handbook of marriage and the family. New York: 
Plenum Press. 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. (1992). Statistical abstract of the United States: 7992 (1 12th ed.). Wash- 
ington DC: U. S. Govemment Printing Office. 



ERIC 



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Analyzing the Significance of Families 



1. Meaning 
of family 



a. 




C CONTENT 1 
MODULE ^ J 



Learning Activities 



Complete My Thoughts on the Meaning of Family (p. 94). In pairs, share your 
responses. Write the question, "What is the meaning of family?" on the chalk- 
board. List possible directions for study to learn about the significance of families 
in our society, such as those listed below. Identify possible learning experiences 
you could organize to develop your understanding of the meaning of family, 

(1) Definitions of family 

(2) The role of the family in s-xiiety ^ 

(3) A historical perspective on families 

(4) A sociological perspective on families (trends affecting families, family 
patterns, demographics) 

(5) Functions of the family 



Teacher Note: Provide students with a preview of the activities in this module 
to create an advanced organizer for understanding the meaning of family. Note 
student interest in particular areas and foc^;s the remaining activities to meet 
student and community needs. 



Discussion Questions 

• What is the significance of families in today's world? 

• Why are families important to individuals? To society? 

• What would it be like in society if we had no families? 

b. Complete About the Importance of Families (p. 95). Interview and post re- 
sponses of friends, family, and community members about the importance of 
family in their lives. Note similarities in the responses. 

c. Complete Comparing DeHnitions of Family (p. 96). 
Discussion Questions 

• What are the similarities in these definitions? The differences? Why do these 
similarities and differences extst? 

• What value perspectives are represented in the various definitions? 

• With which definition do you most identify? Why? 

• How is a family similar to or different from other groups to which you might 
belong? 

• How might these definitions broaden your concept of family? Limit your concept 
of family? 

• Why are definitions of family important? 



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Analyzing the Significance of Families 



C CONTENT t ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



In Family Relations Research Teams, choose one of the following topics and 
write a report about that topic. Use library, classroom, and community resources 
to prepare your report. Present your report to the class at some point during this 
unit, depending on the topic you have chosen. 

(1) Families Throughout History 

(2) The Family of the Future 

(3) Social Trends Affecting Families 

(4) Family Demographics: What Do Today's Families Look Like? 

Design a bulletin board for this unit of study entitled, "Is the American Family in 
Trouble?" Highlight issues such as those listed below. Throughout the activities 
in the unit, add relevant statistics, newspapers articles, and other information 
related to these issues. 

(1) Marital Breakup: Increases in the rate of family dissolution means that many 
of today's children will spend part of their childhood in single-parent homes. 

(2) Quality of Life for Children: An increasing number of children are bom into 
poverty. Numbers of children with physical and emotional problems are on 
the rise. Violence against children is increasing. 

(3) Changing Values: Individual goals are more frequently a greater priority 
than actions that are best for others. 

(4) Time Spent with Family: With increasing numbers of working parents, 
families spend less time together. 

Discussion Questions 

• Does the information we are learning in class confirm these as important 

issues? 

• In light of these issues, are families still important to individuals? Society? 

• What can families do to meet the needs of family members in light of these 
issues? 



Teacher Note: The issue of the breakdown of the American family is one 
often debated in our society and should certainly be considered in the Family 
Relations course. It is important to tie the variety of learning activities in this 
and other modules to the question of the ability of the family to carry out 
essential functions that contribute to the well-being of individuals and society. 
As the course unfolds, the learning activities should ultimately identify what 
can be done to strengthen families in light of these current issues. 



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58 



Analyzing the Significance of Families 




C CONTENT t ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



. f . Action Project: Create a family tree by recording the names of parents, grand- 
parents, great-grandparents, and other ancestors. Find the information you need 
by talking with parents, grandparents, other relatives, or in your local library. 
Your school or local librarian can offer books and information about researching 
family history. After you have compiled your family tree, show it to family 
members and interview them about your ancestor's families using questions such 
as those listed below. 

(1) What was your family like? 

(2) Where did they live? 

(3) What was their daily life like? 

(4) What did they do for a living? 

(5) How did religion and education affect their family life? 

(6) How were their families different from or similar to yours today? 



a. Use classroom resources to identify and describe the functions of the fam-ly, 
such as those listed below. Write each function at the top of a large sne?t of 
newsprint. In small groups, choose a sheet and list specific examples of how 
families can fulfill that function. After a two-minute period, trade newsprint 
sheets with that of another group and add to the list on that sheet for a one-minute 
period. Continue trading with other groups and adding to the lists until you have 
had an opportunity to look at all the sheets. Post the newsprint sheets in the 
classroom. 

(1) Responsible childrearing: Having and caring for children, teaching them 
values and a sense of their culture 

(2) Economic support: Providing for practical needs such as food, clothing, and 
shelter in order to create physical security 

(3) Emotional security: Meeting needs for affectioo, companionship, and 
intimacy ' 

Discussion Questions 

• Why do people need families? Why does society need families? 

• Which of these functions are most important? Least important? Why? 

• Is one function more important than the others? Give reasons for your answer, 

• What human needs (physical, emotional, self esteem, safety, or intellectual) are 
reflected in these functions? 

• What would happen if the family did not fulfill basic functions? 

• Which needs are easiest for families to provide? Most difficult? 




2. Functions 
of families 



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b. FHA/HERO: Make a collage about your family that represents activities, 
interests, and ideas that are important to your family. Share your collage at a 
chapter meeting and explain how your collage represents the functions of fami- 
lies. Create a school display of the collages, highlighting the important functions 
of families, entitled "Families Make a Difference." 

c. Read the case studies below and decide which family functions are fulfilled in 
these situations and which are going unfulfilled. 

(1) Doug is ten years old. His family seldom does anything together. His 
mother works second shift, and he never sees her until the weekends. Doug's 
older brother is living away from home. When Doug is at home, he usually 
watches television alone. He is responsible for taking care of himself. 

(2) Juanita's family consists of five brothers and sisters and her mother and 
stepfather. Her mother is very busy taking care of all the children in the 
family. Juanita's parents and brothers and sisters rarely express affection or 
talk about their love for each other. After all, they are too busy working and 
taking care of everyone. Juanita sometimes feels as if no one really cares 
about her. 

(3) Robert's parents are constantly putting him down. His parents are both 
successful in their careers and want Robert to succeed in life as well. They 
feel it is their job to "toughen him up" for the real world. 

(4) Katrina dreads going home every day after school. Her father is an alcoholic 
and is rarely home. Her older sister has a three-month-old baby and has little 
time to talk to Katrina. No one pays any attention to Katrina at home. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is it difficult for some families to fulfill family functions? 

• What factors may affect families* ability to fulfill family functions? 

• What are the short-term and long-term consequences of these situations for the 
family members? For society? 

• Where could a person get assistance if his or her family did not meet his or her 

needs? 

• What services are available to address these needs? 

d. FHA/HERO: Invite a history teacher to class to discuss how families fulfilled 
family functions throughout history. Identify which family functions seemed to 
be more or less important in specific historical periods. Provide reasons for your 
responses. 



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e. React to the statement, "the home is the first place children learn values." Iden- 
- tify reasons why the family has such an important role in developing values. Use 
classroom resources to identify ways that families teach values, such as those 
listed below. On index cards, write examples of situations in which parents share 
values with children in these ways. Collect and shuffle the cards. Choose a card 
at random, read the situation, and explain how it is an example of teaching values 
to family members. 




(1) Teaching by example: Demonstrate values in the choices made and behavior 
chosen. 

(2) Direct teaching: Explain to family members what is right or acceptable 
behavior; explain values behind family rules and how values guide family 
decisions and problem solving. 

(3) Religious education: Involve family members in religious training that 
provides principles to live by. 



Discussion Questions 

• Can parents teach values? Give reasons for your answer 

• What are the consequences if values are not taught in the home? 

• What are the most important values a person should teach to his or her family? 

In small groups, select one of the activities below to study the ways in which 
families teach values to family members. Share your findings with the class. As 
a class, develop a chart of specific examples of values held by families and the 
ways in which those values are taught to family members. 

(1) Watch a television program about families and identify a specific value that 
the television family believes to be important. Explain specific examples of 
ways in which that value is taught to family members. 

(2) Read a short story about a family situation. Identify a specific value of the 
family in the story and the way in which the family communicates the 
importance of that value to family members. 

(3) Interview members of several families to determine values important to 
them. Ask them to identify ways that they teach those particular values to 
family members. 



Discussion Questions 

• Which methods for teaching values in families are most often used? Why? 

• Why should families be aware of ways to teach values to family members? 

• Which methods are used in your family? 




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3^ Family 
life cycle 



g. Action Project: Interview members of your own family to determine values 
important to them. Talk with members of your family who have taken a leader- 
ship role in teaching values to other family members. Ask them to explain ways 
they have communicated those values in the family. Observe your family 
interaction for one week and identify ways values are being communicated. 
Write a report summarizing your family's values and the way those values are 
taught in your family. 

h. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook about how your family fulfills 
family functions. Use the questions below to guide your reflection. 

(1 ) What are the most important things families do for family members? 

(2) What are the most important things your family does for you? 

(3) What are the most important things you do for your family? 

(4) What would our society be like if families did not fulfill these functions? 

(5) How do the functions of the family relate to the meaning of family? 

a. Design a poster or bulletin board featuring the Family Life Cycle (p. 97). In 
cooperative learning groups, choose one stage of the life cycle and use classroom 
resources and Family Developmental Tasks (p. 98) to answer the questions 
below about that stage. Find pictures representing families in that stage and 
collect newspaper articles about issues facing families in that stage. Design a 
poster illustrating that stage to display in the classroom. Form new cooperative 
groups with each member of the new group having studied a different stage of 
the family life cycle. Take turns presenting the stage you studied to other mem- 
bers of your group, until all group members have a good concept of all stages of 
the family life cycle. Check your understanding of the life cycle by drawing 
pieces of a pie chart from a paper bag and labeling and assembling them to 
represent a pie chart of the family life cycle. Also, take turns drawing pieces of 
paper from the bag representing different developmental tasks and placing them 
beside the correct life cycle stage on the pie chart. Use this time to reinforce 
group members' understanding with encouragement and further explanation as 
needed. 

( 1 ) What are the characteristics of this stage? 

(2) What developmental tasks should be accomplished during this stage? 

(3) Approximately how long does this stage last? 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to study the family life cycle? 

• How can an understanding of the family life cycle help in building strong 
families? 

• What are the similarities betw^een the stages? The differences? 



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b. Working in your original group that studied a particular stage of the family life 
cycle, design a Survival Kit for that stage by collecting materials from the 
classroom or from home. Possible examples might include diapers, a calendar or 
time planner, a children's book, a hammer, or a spoon. Present your survival kits 
to the class, providing a rationale for the items you selected. Display in the 
classroom. 

Discussion Questions 

• What kinds of concerns do families in each stage of the life cycle have? 

• How do these concerns affect the individuals in each family stage ? 

• What future goals might a family at each stage need to prepare for? 

c. Read the situations below and identify the stages of the family life cycle repre- 
sented in each situation. Explain the idea that not all families proceed through 
the stages in the same sequence and may even form a family when some stages 
have already passed. 

(1) A man with three teenage children who has remarried. He and his new wife 
decide to have a baby of their own. 

(2) A married couple who have chosen not to have children. 

(3) A divorced woman who lives with her teenage daughter and one-year-old 
grandchild. 

(4) A married couple with grown children who care for their aging parents in 
their home. 

Discussion Questions 

• Do all families proceed through the family life cycle stages in the same way? 
Why or why not? 

• What are the potential consequences of variations in the traditional life cycle 
stages? 

• How would the needs of the families in the above situations he different from 
those in traditional life cycle stages? 

d. FHA/HERO: Invite members from various families representing each stage of 
the family life cycle to class for a panel presentation. Develop a list of questions 
to ask the panel members, such as those listed below. 

(1) What challenges do you and/or your family face in your present family life 
cycle stage? Previous stages? 

(2) Which stage has been the easiest? The most difficult? Why? 



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(3) Which stage did you enjoy the most? 

(4) What advice would you give to other families to help them in the stages > ou 
have been through? 

FHA/HERO: Collect items for a family in .:eed in your community. Discuss 
the family life cycle stage of the family you have chosen, and identify items 
based on your understanding of their needs. 

Action Project: Research demographic data on the number of Americans in 
various stages of the family life cycle. Identify characteristics of various genera- 
tional groups such as "Baby boomers" and "generation X" noting how these 
groups are moving through various family life cycle stages and the economic, 
political, and social impact of the stages of these groups on our society. Report 
your findings to the class and lead a discussion about the implications of these 
demographic trends. 



4. Family 
composition 



Complete Changes in Family Structure (p. 99 ). Using classroom resources, 
define various types of families or family patterns, such as those listed below. 
Survey students at your school to determine the different types of families in 
which they live and classify the survey responses according to these patterns. 
Graph your findings. 

(1) Nuclear 

(2) Extended 

(3) Blended 

(4) Single-parent 

(5) Communal 

(6) Adoption/Foster 

Discussion Questions 

• What factors have affected trends in family composition over the years? 

• What are the advantages and disadvantages of each family type? 

• What strengths can be found in these families? 

• Do responsibilities of family members differ in these families? 

• How might family patterns affect the ability of the family to fulfill family 
functions? 



Teacher Note: If surveying students to determine types of families in which 
they live is not appropriate in your community, use statistics available from 
your school district or other community resource. 



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b. View excerpts from television programs representing different types of families. 
Identify various issues, situations, and behaviors you observe. Compare and 
contrast the ways each family operates. Make a chart identifying the types of 
families you observed and the special challenges faced by each type of family. 

Discussion Questions 

•Are the Junctions of these different types of families the same or different? Why 
or why not? 

• What responsibilities do the members have? 

• How do they resolve conflict? 

• What special concerns do they face? 

• Does the program create stereotypes about that family type? How? 

• Do you feel the programs are realistic examples of families today? Why or 
why not? 

• What trends have you noticed in the media 's portrayal of families? 

• How accurately do these media families portray reality? 

c. In Family Relations Research Teams, choose a family form and create a simu- 
lated family with the members of your group. Assign each group member ^ 
family role (parent, child, teenager, or extended family member). Choose one of 
the practical problems below so that each group has the same problem. Resolve 
the practical problem for your simulated family group using the Practical 
Family Problems Think Sheet (p. 29). Explain your solution to the class and 
justify your decision. 



( 1 ) One parent who is the primary wage earner loses his or her job. The bills are 
overdue, groceries for the week have not been paid for, and the car needs to 
be repaired. How would your family solve this problem? 

(2) Family members disagree about the household jobs. Some members are 
taking on n.ore responsibility than others. Jobs are not being done well. 
How would your family solve the problem? 

(3) One member of the family feels the family does not spend enough time 
together. Each family member has his or her own activities and responsibili- 
ties. How can this problem be solved in your family? 



Discussion Questions 

• How did the solutions selected differ? How were they similar? 

• How does the family composition in each family type affect how the family 
approaches problems? 

• What issues could the different families be facing because of their family type? 




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Analyzing the Significance of Families 



r CONTENT 1 ^ 
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d. Action Project: Develop a questionnaire to be given to two different types of 
families. Compare and contrast life in each type of family, including challenges 
faced and the way the family goes about resolving conflict and solving problems. 
With the family's permission, videotape the interview and show it to the class. 
Questions might include the following: 



Social and 

cultural 

influences 



a. 



(1) What issues and concerns does your family face? 

(2) How do you approach everyday issues or problems? 

(3) What strengths do you see in your family? Limitations? 

(4) Do you feel your family type has influenced the way you work toward your 
goals? In what ways? 

Create a display of photos of families of different sizes, forms, stages in the life 
cycle, and cultures. Explain ways in which these families are different and ways 
that they are the same. List strategies for relating to others who belong to 
families different from your own. 



(1) Develop a regard for the interests of others. 

(2) Seek the perspectives of others. 

(3) Ask about and understand the traditions and values of others. 

(4) Empathize with otl.ers. 

(5) Recognize and lesist stereotypes and prejudice. 

(6) Celebrate the uniqueness and culture of your own family. 



Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to have an appreciation of the diversity of families? 

• Are some types of families better able to fulfill family functions than others? 
Why or why not? 

• What skills do you need to be able to relate to people different from yourself? 

b. FHA/HERO: Using resources, define culture. Invite representatives from 
families of different cultures to participate in a panel discussion of cultural 
diversity among families. Divide the chapter into listening teams, with each 
team taking a different culture represented on the panel. Use the following 
questions to learn about families in that culture. Identify characteristics of 
families in that culture and ways that families preserve the culture. Create school 
displays entitled, "Celebrating the Cultural Diversity of Families." 



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(1) What rituals and traditions are related to your culture? 

(2) What are the characteristics of families in your culture? 

(3) What values are important to your culture? 

(4) What is the history of your culture? 

(5) How does your family pass on aspects of the culture to young family 
members? 

Discussion Questions 

• What similarities do you see between these cultures? 

• How are families in these cultures the same? Different? 

• How does your family differ from families in these cultures? How are they 
similar to your family? 

• How have other cultures influenced your present culture and family? 

• How can we preserve the identity of these cultures in our society? 



Teacher Note: Assist students in selecting families from cultures represented 
in your community and perhaps some cultures that are not prevalent in your 
community. 



c. Action Project: Spend time observing and interviewing two families, each from 
a different cultural group. Note similarities and differences between the two 
families. Write a report about your experience. 



Assessment 



Paper and Pencil 

1 . List three functions of the family and identify the possible consequences when families fulfill and do 
not fulfill each function. 

2. Create two examples of family situations that illustrate the role of the family in developing values. 

3. Identify stages of the family life cycle. 

4. Identify at least three types of families. 

5. Identify at least two trends in family composition in America, and analyze each trend by identifying 
the consequences of that trend for families and for society. 

6. Given examples of several families, analyze the impact of social and cultural diversity on the families 
by explaining the social and cultural influences on that family. 



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Classroom Experiences 

1 . In cooperative learning groups, choose a topic related to the meaning of the family and write a report 
about that topic. Use library, classroom, and community resources to prepare your report. Present 
your report to the class. 

2. Make a collage about your family that represents activities, interests, and ideas that are important to 
your family. Share your collage and explain hov^ it represents the functions of families. 

3. Write a journal entry about how your family ftilfills family functions. 

4. In cooperative learning groups, choose one stage of the life cycle and use classroom resources to 
research that stage. Design a poster representing that stage to display in the classroom. 

5. Working in groups, design a Survival Kit for a stage of the family life cycle by collecting materials 
from the classroom or from home that represent items needed in that stage. 

6. Survey students at your school to determine the different types of families in which they live. Graph 
your findings. 

7. View excerpts from television programs representing different types of families. Identify various 
issues, situations, and behaviors you observe. Compare and contrast the ways each family operates. 
Make a chart identifying the types of families you observed and the special challenges faced by each 
type of family. 

8. In cooperative learning groups, choose a family form and create a simulated family with the 
members of your group. Assign each group member a family role (parent, child, teenager, or 
extended family member). Choose a practical problem and resolve the problem, using the practical 
problem-solving process. Explain your solution to the class and justify your decision. 




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Application to ReaMife Settings 



1 . Create a family tree by recording the names of parents, grandp arents, great-grandparents, and other 
ancestors. Find the information you need by talking with parents, grandparents, other relatives, or in 
your local library. After you have compiled your family tree, show it to family members and inter- 
view them about your ancestor's families. 

2. Interview members of your own family to determine values important to them. Talk with members of 
your family who have taken a leadership role in teaching values to other family members. Ask them 
to explain ways they have communicated those values in the family. Observe your family interaction 
for one week and identify ways values are being communicated. Write a report summarizing your 
family's values and the way that values are taught in your family. 

3. Collect items for a family in need in your community. Discuss the family life cycle stage of the 
family you have chosen, and identify items based on your understanding of their needs. 

4. Research demographic data on the number of Americans in various stages of the family life cycle. 
Identify characteristics of various generational groups such as "Baby boomers" and "generation X" 
noting how these groups are moving through various family life cycle stages and the economic, 
political, and social impact of the stages of these groups on our society. Report your findings to the 
class and lead a discussion about the implications of these demographic trends. 

5. Develop a questionnaire to be given to two different types of families. Compare and contrast life in 
each type of family, including challenges faced and the way the family goes about resolving conflict 
and solving problems. With the family's permission, videotape the interview and show it to the class. 

6. Spend time observing and interviewing two families, each from a different cultural group. Note 
similarities and differences between the two families. Write a report about your experience. 



99 



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I Analyzing the Signiflcance of Families 



My Thoughts on the Meaning of Family 

Complete the items below. There are no right or wrong answers, 
1. A family is. . . 



2. The most important thing families do for family members is. 



3. The most important thing family members do for the family is 



4. Families are important to a community because. . 



5. Families are important to the world of work because. 



6. Families are important to our country because 



7. Today's families are the same as the families of 100 years ago in these ways 



8. Today's families are different from the families of 100 years ago in these ways 



9. Some trends or issues affecting families today are 



10. In the future, families will need to be . . . 



94 



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^ Analyzing the Significance of Families 



About the Importance of Families 



Read the following quotations about the importance of families and post the quotations in the 
classroom. Explain the meaning of each quotation. Develop your own quotation about the 
importance of families and post it with others in the classroom. 

The family is one of nature's masterpieces. 
George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905-06 

What families have in common the world around is that they are the place where 
people learn who they are and how to be that way. 
Jean Illsley Clarke, Self-Esteem: A Family Affair, 1978 

Call it a clan, call it a network call it a tribe, call it a family Whatever you call 
it, whoever you are, you need one. 
Jane Howard, Families, 1978 

How many different things a family can be-a nest of tenderness, a jail for the 
hearty a nursery of souls. Families name us and define us, give us strength, give 
us grief All our lives we struggle to embrace or escape their influence. They 
are magnets that both hold us close and drive us away. 
George Howe Colt, Life, April 1991 

Although there have been tremendous changes in the world, there are two things 
that will never change in our society: the developmental needs of children and 
the fact that society has always needed and continues to need strong families. 
Rosalie Streett 

A key strength ofU. S. families is durability. Despite changes, hardships, and 
challenges, the American family has endured. Marriage and family life is still 
as important to Americans as even 

M. A. Fine, author of Families in the United States: Their Status and Future Prospects 

What has made this nation great? Not its heroes but its households. 
Sarah Josepha Hale, 1788-1879, American writer and editor 

Healthy families are our greatest national resource. 
Delores Curran, Traits of a Healthy Family, 1983 



V 



loi 




Analyzing the Significance of Families 



Comparing Definitions of Family 



Read the definitions of family from the various sources below and add any definitions from classroom 
or community resources. In the chart below, note similarities and differences between these definitions. 

A group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption; constituting a single household; 
interacting and communicating with each other in their respective social roles (husband and wife, mother 
and father, son and daughter, brother and sister); and creating and maintaining a common culture. 
E. Burgess and H. Locke in The Family: From Institution to Companionship 

A unit of intimate, transacting, and interdependent persons who share values and goals, responsibility 
for decisions, and resources and have commitment to one another over time. 
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences 

( 1 ) A groupof persons, sometimes living under one roof, who nurture and support one another physically 
and emotionally. (2) a mutually supportive team of individuals who work together and share skills and 
resources; an environment created by caring people where individuals learn to be productive members 
of society. (3) a context for discovery where individuals can comfortably accept challenges, make 
mistakes, have wins, be self-expressive, and grow at a personal pace. 
Future Homemakers of America, Inc. 

Two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption who reside together. 
U. S. Bureau of the Census 

A unit composed not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold. 
Ogden Nash 



A definition of family from one or more classroom or community resources: 
Definition: 



Source: 



Definition: 



Source: 



COMPARISON OF THE DEFINITIONS 



Similarities 



Differences 



96 



102 



Family Relations 



f Analyzing the Significance of Families 



Family Life Cycle 



The pie chart below shows eight stages 
of the family life cycle and estimates 
the number of years a family might 
spend in that stage. 



Aging Period 
8-10 yrs. 



Adjustment 
Period 
^2-5 yf s. 



Childbearing 
Period 
3-4 yrs. 



Empty-nesL 

Period 
20-35 yrs. 




Child-rearing 
Period 
17 yrs* 



A A < 
A A 



Launching Period 
5-6 yrs. 

Adjustment Period: Married couples without children 
Childbearing Period: Oldest child's birth - 30 months 
Childrearing Period 

'/y/ Preschool: Oldest child 30 months - 6 years 
School Age: Oldest child 6 years - 13 years 
Teenage: Oldest child 1 3 years - 20 years 
Launching Period: From first child gone until last child leaves home 
Empty-Nest Period: From last child leaves home until adults retire 



^ Aging Period: From retirement until death of both spouses 



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Family Relations 



Analyzing the Significance of Families 



1 Family Developmental Tasks 1 


1 stage 


Tasks 1 


1 Adjustment 


Establish a home ■ 
Establish an agreeable system of saving and spending money I 
Establish agreeable family roles | 
F^fahli<;h communication nattems B 
Establish a workable relationship with relatives ■ 
Discuss the possibility of children and planning for their coming . 


■ Childbearing 
1 Stage 


Adapt housing arrangements B 
Meet additional costs I 
Rework patterns of responsibility | 
Adjust communication patterns ■ 
Become involved in the community ■ 
family traditions, goals, and values _ 
Plan for future children ■ 


B Childrearing 
I Period 


Preschool I 
Supply adequate space and facilities | 
Meet expanding costs ■ 

N^nintnin pffpftivp fr^tntniinifntinti 

iviaiiiiaiii C/iic^^iivc^ ^uiiiiiiuiii^aiiuii h 

School Age — 
Provide for activity and privacy J 
Maintain finances ■ 
Cooperate within family I 

Teenage | 
Provide adequate facilities H 
Agree on money matters ■ 
Share tasks _ 
Keep communication open J 
Keep marriage relationship in focus ■ 


1 Launching 
1 Stage 


Rearrange physical facilities | 
Meet costs of launching family ■ 
Reallocate responsibilities m 
Keep system of communication open _ 
Come to terms with themselves as husband and wife ■ 


1 Empty Nest 
1 Stage 


Assure security for the later years I 
Maintain contact with grown children's families | 
Keep in touch with brothers, sisters, families, and aging parents ■ 
Maintain a comfortable home m 


■ Aging 
1 - Stage 


Find a satisfying home for later years ■ 
Adjust to reiiicment income I 
Adjust to a possible life alone | 
Care for elderly relatives . | 
Maintain involvement in community ■ 
Maintain contact with children and grandchildren ^ 



Source: Dr. Susan S. Coady. College of Human Ecology, The Ohio State University. 



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104 



Family Relations 



I Analyzing the SigniHcance of Families 



Changes in Family Structure 



Examine the statistics in the table below. In small groups, respond to the reflection questions 
below. Share your response with the rest of the class. 



Types of Familes 



1970 1991 
Percentage Percentage 



Married couples as a percent 87 79 

of all family households 

Female-headed households, 11 17 

no spouse present, as a per- 
cent of all family households 

Male-headed households, no 2 2 

spouse present, as a percent 
of all family households 

Families by number of children 
under 18 

None 44 51 

One 18 20 

Two 17 19 

Three or more 20 10 

Living Arrangements of children 

Both parents 85 72 

Mother only 1 1 22 

Father only 1 3 

Labor force participation of wives with 
husbands present (comparison 1975-1991) 

Children under 3 33 56.8 

Children 3 to 5 42 64.7 



Reflection Questions 

What are the positive implications of these statistics for families? For society? 
What are the negative implications of these statistics for families? For society? 
What have you noticed about families that confirms these statistics? 

V...— ..»——— ——— 

Compiled from 1992 statistics obtained from the U. S. Bureau of the Census. 

99 

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Family RG^atlO■ns 



Nurturing Human Development 



J 



C CONTENT ^ ^ 
MODULE ^ y 



Module Overview 



Practical 

Problem: What should I do about nurturing human development? 

Competency 5,0.2: Nurture human development in the family throughout the life span 



Competency 
Builders: 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



Identify physical, social, emotional, and intellectual developmental milestones 
Describe how development is nurtured within the family 
Analyze relationship between self-formation and stages of the life cycle 
Enhance self-esteem of self and others 

Identify basic needs of family members throughout the life cycle 
Analyze how needs can be met within various family systems 
Recognize role of various types of relationships in meeting human needs 
Develop strategies for adapting to change throughout the life span 
Analyze relationship between managing resources and meeting human needs 



1 . Nurturing human development 

2. Developmental stages and needs 

3. Self-esteem 

4. Change throughout the life span 

5. Management of resources to nurture development 



Rationale 



Teacher Background Information 



Families are the primary groups in which individuals establish long-term, complex, intimate relationships. 
As a result, family members remain connected to and responsive to one another as each individual 
changes and develops across the life span. Whether we think of two adult partners and their changing 
needs, adults and their developing children, siblings, or adult children and their aging parents, the story of 
families is in part the story of attempting to nurture optimal development of individual family members 
within the framework of preserving a meaningful sense of group connection and inter-individual support. 



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MODULE ^ J 



At each period of life, a number of basic, developmental tasks must be accomplished in order to grow as a 
person and to function as a member of society. Generally, these tasks can be grouped by physical, emo- 
tional, intellectual, and social domains. In addition, at each period of life, as understanding of the physical 
and social worid change, so does understanding of oneself. What is more, family members are commonly 
the primary source of support during periods of crisis such as illness, unemployment, or loss of a loved 
one, when an individual's typical capacity for daily functioning may be temporarily disorganized or 
reduced. Thus, when we speak of nurturing human development within families, we recognize that the 
resource of the family must be directed toward meeting needs and fostering development across a very 
broad range of human capacities and under a variety of conditions. 



Background 

There are many different models for understanding the critical milestones of development across the life 
span. Table 1 provides one perspective as developed by Newman and Newman (1995), in Development 
Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach. Within this perspective, the life span is divided into 1 1 life 
stages from the prenatal period to very old age. At each life stage, a few critical developmental tasks are 
identified, tasks which must be mastered in order to move on to the challenges of the next period of life. 
Typically, these tasks address development in the areas of physical, intellectual, emotional, and social 
functioning, as well as the domain of self-understanding. In addition, at each stage, one must resolve what 
psychosocial theory calls a psychosocial crisis. This crisis is a product of the gap between the skills and 
self-understanding the person has at the beginning of the stage and the demands or expectations of family 
and society at that time of life. The crises reflect a synthesis of the direction for healthy development for 
the individual and the direction for healthy development of the society. Thus, for example, while trust is 
critical for the infant in order to explore the environment, take risks, and form relationships in subsequent 
periods of life, trust is also critical for sustaining and enhancing social relationships that are at the core of 
any social group. 

As a result of a positive resolution of each psychosocial crisis, an individual brings new ego strengths to 
bear in approaching the tasks of subsequent stages. When the crisis is resolved in the negative direction, 
certain core pathologies arise that tend to restrict further growth and establish a more rigid, defensive 
orientation toward self and society. 

One of the key concepts of psychosocial theory is that there is an interdependence among individuals at 
different life stages such that the success that younger individuals have in accomplishing the tasks and 
resolving the crises of their life stages. The psychosocial maturity of older adults is likely to determine the 
quality of the nurturing environment for those who are younger; and at the same time, the energy and 
direction of development of the younger individuals can provide a stimulus that promotes the development 
of older adults. 



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Nurturing Human Development 



Table 1 
Stages of Development 




C CONTENT 
MODOLE J 



Stage 

Prenatal (concep- 
tion to birth) 

Infancy (birth to 
2 years) 



Toddlerhood 
(2 to 4) 



Early school age 
(4 to 6) 



Middle school age 
(6 to 12) 



Developmental 
Tasks 



Social attachment 

Maturation of sensory, perceptual, and 

motor functions 
Sensorimotor intelligence and 

primitive causality 
Understanding of the nature of objects 

and creation of categories 
Emotional development 

Elaboration of locomotion 
Fantasy and play 
Language development 
Self-control 

Sex-role identification 
Early moral development 
Group play 
Self-esteem 

Friendship 
Concrete operations 
Skill learning 
5elf-evaluation 
Team play 



Early adolescence Physical maturation 
( 1 2 to 18) Formal operations 

Emotional development 
Membership in peer groups 
Sexual relationships 



Later adolescence 
(18-22) 



Early adulthood 
(22 to 34) 



Middle adulthood 
(34 to 60) 



Later adulthood 
(60 to 75) 



Very old age 
(75 until death) 



Autonomy in relation to parents 
Sex-rolc identity 
Internalized morality 
Career choice 

Marriage 
Childbearing 
Work 
Lifestyle 

Nurture of the marital relationship 
Management of household 
Parenting 

Management of career 

Promotion of intellectual vigor 
Redirection of energy toward new roles 
Acceptance of one's life 
Development of a point of view about 
death 

Management of physical changes 
of aging 

Development of a psychohistorical 

perspective 
Travel through uncharted terrain 



Psychosocial 
Crisis 



Basic trust versus 
basic mistrust 



Autonomy versus 
shame and doubt 



Initiative versus 
guilt 



Industry versus 
inferiority 



Group identity 
versus alienation 



Individual identity 
versus identity 
confusion 



Intimacy versus 
isolation 



Generativity 
versus stagnation 



Integrity versus 
despair 



Immortality versus 
extinction 



Central 
Process 



Mutuality 
with caregiver 



Prime 
Adaptive 
Ego Quality 



Hope 



Imitation 



Identification 



Education 



Peer pressure 



Role 

experimenta- 
tion 



Mutuality 
among peers 



Person — 
environment 
fit and 
creativity 

Introspection 



Social support 



Will 



Purpose 



Competence 



Fidelity (1) 



Fidelity (H) 



Love 



Care 



Wisdom 



Core 
Pathology 



Withdrawal 



Compulsion 



Inhibition 



Inertia 



Isolation 



Repudiation 



Exclusivity 



Rcjectivity 



Disdain 



Diffidence 



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Nurturing Human Development 



As this model of the life span suggests, the outcome of the early stages of development are directly and 
intimately influenced by the quality of family life. In the prenatal period, the mother provides the imme- 
diate uterine environment that effects fetal grov^th. Exposure to toxic substances, high stress, inadequate 
health care, inadequate nutrition, and use of drugs can all interfere v^ith optimal fetal grov/th. The 
pregnant woman's emotional and physical state are influenced by her family, especially by the quality of 
relationship with the baby's father and by the quality of relationship with her own mother. This kind of 
embeddedness of child outcomes within the psychosocial context of family life continues as one looks at 
the challenges of infancy, toddlerhood, early, and middle school age. By adolescence, it is clear that 
youngsters who have a strong sense of connection and closeness to parents expand on this base of affec- 
tion and support by developing new and complex peer relationships. Peer relationships extend social 
connection but cannot compensate for a lack of parental understanding and emotional support. 

Adolescence brings a critical challenge to children and their families. At this period of life, children are 
faced first with the crisis of forming a group identity and then with the crisis of forming a personal 
identity. Throughout these two psychosocial crises, parents must communicate support and understand- 
ing, but, at the same time, encourage the young person to make independent decisions and experience a 
new sense of self-reliance. For many families, this is a particularly difficult period in the parent-child 
relationship. Parents tend to worry about their children's safety and about their children's ability to use 
good judgment. Children want to know that their parents care about them, but they do not want to be 
over-protected or mistrusted. At this time, the child's self-concept and self-understanding undergo rapid 
and dramatic revision with new levels of self-consciousness, new experiences of self-insight, and a new 
ability to consider oneself persisting into the future. Eventually, most young people emerge from adoles- 
cence with a sense of themselves as separate and distinct individuals, still emotionally connected to their 
family of origin, but ready to move into adulthood, to make commitments, to embrace certain values, and 
to form enduring relationships of their own. 

Social science research has identified several critical processes that help foster optimal development at 
various periods in the life span. 

• Mutuality, In infancy, a key is the establishment of mutuality between the infant and the caregiver. 
Infants and caregivers need to establish a synchrony of interactions, so that the caregivers understand 
what the infants need and are able to meet those needs, and infants build a sense of confidence that 
their needs will be met. Within the context of this synchrony, infants are gradually able to delay their 
needs for immediate gratification and to modify their needs to fit into a more rhythmic, predictable 
pattern. Caregivers who are sensitive to their infant's states and changes in state, who respond with 
affection and reassurance in a timely manner when their infants are distressed, and who provide the 
appropriate amount of stimulation-neither overly intrusive nor neglectful-are able to foster in their 
infants a sense of positive, secure attachment. 

♦ Parenting, In toddlerhood and into early school age, one of the most important features of parent- 
child relations is the establishment of a democratic parent style (Baumrind, 1991). This approach to 
parenting combines sensitivity to a child's needs, supportive, open communication, a willingness to 



109 



Nurturing Human Development 




r CONTENT ^ ^ 
V MODULE ^ J 

include children in family decision making, and the clear communication of family values and limits. 
Within this style of parenting, discipline is carried out largely through inductions, in which adults 
explain to the child why their actions were wrong, especially pointing out the consequences of their 
actions for others, and help the child think of other ways to express their needs and feelings that 
would not have negative consequences for themselves and others. In other words, adults begin to 
socialize children by setting certain limits, fostering concern for others and, at the same time, ac- 
knowledging and validating the strong feelings and needs that children are likely to experience. As a 
result, children achieve a continued sense of closeness with their parents, a growing confidence in 
their ability to make good choices, and a well-internalized set of values and beliefs that take into 
account the needs and feelings of others as well as their own needs and feelings. 

Education, Throughout infancy and childhood, parents and older siblings also provide the earliest 
and most intimate patterns of education, a process that may continue in some form throughout life. 
Adults and siblings are an infants' first language partners. They provide the stimulus environment, 
including toys, songs, stories, and games that foster cognitive and motor development. They are the 
skilled teachers who help young children accomplish tasks of daily life and who draw children to the 
next higher level of thought and action. And as the children get older, parents often serve as their 
advocates with the larger educational system, arranging for extracurricular activities, monitoring their 
child's school performance, and trying to make sure that their child's artistic* athletic, and intellectual 
needs are being met. During adolescence children and parents in many families begin to have seri- 
ous, thoughtful discussion. Children bring new ideas into the family, introduce new technologies, and 
often encourage parents to try new activities or think about old issues in new ways. So the intellec- 
tual resources of the family are enriched as the children expand their own educational experiences and 
bring new talents and ideas back to their family of origin. 

Intimacy, When partners form a family by establishing a commitment to one another, they experience 
the challenge of trying to establish intimacy. Intimacy is a psychosocial process that cannot be 
achieved on one's own-it takes two. Intimacy can be defined as the ability to experience an open, 
supportive, tender relationship with another person without fear of losing one's own identity in the 
process. Partners in an intimate relationship experience a mutual regard and respect as well as deep 
affection for one another. They are able to express their own views and at the same time appreciate 
the views of the other person without fear of being ridiculed or threatened. Intimate relationships are 
characterized by high levels of disclosure or openness in communication, and a sense of mutpal 
enrichment, a sense that each person feels he or she is enhanced through closeness and interaction 
with the other. Once achieved, intimacy in the marital relationship must be continually nourished and 
revitalized. Partners must allow one another to experience individual growth, and at the same time, 
find ways for the relationship to incorporate this growth. Many studies have found a critical link 
between intimacy between adult partners and the quality of parent-child relationships. Intimacy 
between adult partners provides the emotional anchor around which the family endures constant 
challenges and changes and through which parents convey reassurance, support, and affection to their 
children. 



105 110 




Nurturing Human Development 



C CONTENT A 
MODULE ^ J 

• Social Support, Another critical process that helps sustain and promote development is social support. 
Social support is a broad term that includes the quantity and interconnectedness or web of social 
relationships in which a person is embedded, the strength of those ties, the frequency of contact, and 
the extent to which the support system is perceived as helpful and caring. Social support has been 
found to be a critical factor in sustaining the quality of parenting for adolescent mothers or single 
mothers following divorce. It is a key factor in helping women and men adjust to the crisis of 
unemployment. It provides critical resources during adjustment to widowhood. And social support 
plays a major role in maintaining physical and rnental health in later life. The reason that social 
support is so important is that it generally fosters a personal sense of esteem as well as providing 
material resources, information, and encouragement. People who are part of a strong social support 
network feel that they are loved and valued, they believe that they have something to offer others and 
that others really do care about them. Of course, family members typically play key roles in one's 
social support network. Siblings, parents, and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all likely to 
be found on the list of people's social support. And depending on the situation, different members of 
the social support system provide different types of resources. For example, in the situation of unem- 
ployment, a man or woman may need love and understanding from their spouse or life partner, but 
they may need encouragement about finding a new job from a friend or colleague outside the family. 
At the time of widowhood, a woman may look to her children as the first source of support during 
bereavement, but she may look to her siblings in the long run as she attempts to rebuild her life. 



Baumrind, D. (1991). Parenting styles and adolescent development. In R.M. Lemer, A.C. Petersen, & J. 
Brooks-Gunn (Eds.), The encyclopedia of adolescence. New York: Garland Press. 

Jayakody, R., Chatters. L. M.. Taylor, F. J. (1993). Family support to single and married African Ameri- 
can mothers: The provision of financial, emotional, and child care assistance. Journal of Marriage and 
the Family. 55. 2()\-2bl. 

Maslow, A. H. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking Press. 

Maslow.A. H. (1970). Religions, values, and peak-experiences. New York: Penguin Books. 

McLanahaii. S.. & Adams. J. (1987). Parenthood and psychological well-being. In R. Turner and J. Short 
(Eds.). Annual Review of Sociology (Vol. 1 3). Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews. 

Newman. B.. & Newman. P. (1995). Development through life: A psychosocial approach. Pacific 
Grove. CA: Brooks/Cole. 

Patterson. G. R. (1992). D*3velopmental changes in antisocial behavior. In R. D. Peters, R. J. Mcmahon, 
& V. L. Quignsey (Eds.). Aggression and violence throughout the life span. New Burry Park, CA: Sage. 



References 



106 



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MODULE ^ J 

Learning Activities 

!• Nurturing a. Using resources, define the word nurture and post the definition in the classroom, 
human In small groups, choose one of the pairs of family members below and create an 

development example of a situation in which the first family member is nurturing the second 
family member. Share your situation with the rest of the class. Following the 
activity, respond to the statement, "Nurturing is. . Post the responses in the 
classroom. 




( 1 ) A mother and a newborn baby 

(2) A fathelr and a two-year-old 

(3) An older sibling and a preschool child 

(4) A teenage brother and his school-age sister 

(5) A father and his preadolescent daughter 

(6) A mother and her adolescent son 

(7) A husband and his early adult wife 

(8) A teenage son and his middle adult mother 

(9) An adult daughter and her aging father 

Discussion Questions 

• What do the situations you have created have in common? How are they 
different? 

• How is the situation you created an example of nurturing? 

• Why is it important for families to nurture family members? 

Teacher Note: If many of your students come from troubled families where 
nurturing is rare, you may begin this activity by providing examples of 
nurturing situations for each of the categories, such as written examples or brief 
clips from television programs that illustrate nurturing. Then ask students to 
write an example on their own. Choose the small groups so that students in the 
groups have a variety of family experience. This concept will be further devel- 
oped in later modules, but it is essential that students understand nurturing in 
order to build healthy relationships with family members. 



b. Complete Nurturing Development in Families (p. 1 1 7) 

Discussion Questions 

• How do these examples represent nurturing? 

• How are the examples similar? Different? 



112 







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Nurturing Human Development 



C CONTENT /> \ 
MODULE ^ J 



2. Developmental 
stages and , 
needs 



Action Project: Visit a nursery or preschool and observe the interaction be- 
tween caregiver and child. Identify situations you believe are nurturing to the 
child's development. Record these situations and note similarities and differ- 
ences. Write a summary of your findings. 

Using a dictionary, write the definition of the word development on the chalk- 
board. Use classroom resources to identify different types of development, such 
as physical, social, emotional, and intellectual. Write the description of each type 
on the chalkboard. 



Teacher Note: When helping students develop the concept of developmental 
stages, emphasize that these stages are a tool to use when deciding how best to 
nurture family members, rather than a regimented format through which growth 
must rigidly proceed. There are many factors that influence these stages, yet 
knowledge of these stages can be useful as we look at appropriate ways to 
nurture family members. 



In Family Relations Research Teams, choose a stage of development listed below 
and research that stage, identifying developmental tasks to be accomplished and 
approximate ages at which the stage is encountered. Present you findings to the 
class in a skit that depicts the developmental tasks of that stage. Create a poster 
that includes pictures and words appropriate for nurturing people that stage of 
development. Display the posters in class and note similarities and differences 
between the ways to nurture each stage of development. 



(1) Infancy 

(2) Toddlerhood 

(3) Preschool 

(4) School age 

(5) Preadolescent 

(6) Adolescent 

(7) Early adult 

(8) Middle adult 

(9) Aging 



Discussion Questions 

• How can the stages of development be used as a tool for nurturing family 
members? 

• Why is it important to be aware of these stages when nurturing family mem- 
bers? 

•Are there stages of the development when nurturing is more important? Less 
important? 



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Nurturing Human Development 



d. 




C CONTENT >> N 
MODULE ^ J 



• How do the developmental tasks represent different types of development 
(physical, social, emotional, and intellectual)? 

• How are the developmental tasks at each stage different? Similar? 

• Which stages have the most difficult developmental tasks? Why? 

• Which stages have the fewest developmental tasks? Why? 

• Which developmental stages have you experienced? Encountered in your 
family? 



Teacher Note: Classroom resources such as textbooks or audiovisual materials 
are needed for the above activity. If no such resources are available, the infor- 
mation provided in Table 1 (p. 103) may be modified for student use. 



Form small groups, with each member of the group having studied a different 
stage of development in Activity 2b. Complete Stages of Development (p. 1 18) 
by sharing the information about your stage with all group members. Share your 
completed charts with the class and add any information missing on youi chart. 

In Family Relations Research Teams, draw a circle on a large sheet of paper, 
-placing eight to ten rays outward from the circle. In the center of the circle, write 
the word needs and the stage of development you researched in Activity 2b. On 
the rays, write words or phrases that represent needs of people at that stage of 
development. When all the needs are listed, place a star beside the needs you feel 
are most important to that particular stage. Compare the needs you identified with 
those listed on Maslow^s Pyramid of Human Needs (p. 1 19). Define unfamiliar 
terms. Explain where the needs you identified are depicted on Maslow's Pyramid. 

Discussion Questions 

• How can being sensitive to the needs of family members help nurture develop- 
ment? 

• Are some needs more prevalent in some stages than in others? Why or why not? 

• How did you go about selecting the most important needs for your stage ? 

• Which of these needs should be met in families? 

• What happens when families cannot meet these needs? 

• Where else can individuals go to have these needs met? 

e. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook about your experience with 
developmental stages and tasks. Identify stages you remember in your own life 
and the ways in which family activities nurtured your development. Identify 
stages of family members you know and how the family activities in their lives 
support their development. 



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Nurturing Human Development 



C CONTENT "\ 
MODULE ^ J 



3. Self-esteem 



Action Project: Interview members of your family to determine their activities 
related to the developmental tasks of their stage of development. Ask older 
family members to reflect oi^ stages which they have experienced. Use the 
questions below in your interviews. Compile your findings in a written report. 

(1) What is most important to you at this stage of your life? 

(2) What are your most important needs? 

(3) What do you remember about being in other stages of development? 

(4) What changes occurred as you moved from one stage to the next? 

(5) How did you cope with these changes? 

FHA/HERO: Compile a list of community agencies that help families meet the 
needs of family members. Identify those that help with particular developmental 
stages. Take a field trip to visit several of these agencies or invite representatives 
of the agencies to class to speak. 

Action Project: Volunteer at a community agency that serves the needs of 
families. Keep a journal of your volunteer work and write a summary of how 
this experience helped you gain an understanding of human needs and stages of 
development. 

Using resources, define self-esteem (Suggested definition: appreciating one's 
own worth and having the character to be accountable and act responsibly) and 
identify the characteristics of individuals with high self-esteem and low self- 
esteem. Draw a picture on the chalkboard of a tripod with three legs. Label the 
tripod, "Positive Self-esteem." Label each of the three legs with, "Having 
Skills,'' "Feeling Appreciated," and "Being Responsible." Explain how each leg 
is important to support the tripod. Read each of the factors below and describe 
how each factor could influence these three aspects of self-esteem. 

(1) Beliefs and values about personal worth 

(2) Inherited characteristics 

(3) Family relationships 

(4) Experiences 

(5) Environmental factors 

(6) Relationships with friends and others 

(7) Culture 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is positive self-esteem important in a family? In the workplace? In the 
cgmmunity? 

• How do family relationships influence self-esteem? 

• Which of the factors affecting self-esteem can you control? Not control? 



ERIC 



no 



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Nurturing Human Development 



b. In small groups, draw two silhouettes of a person, one on each of two large 

sheets of newsprint. On the first silhouette, list things that can happen in families 
to support the development of positive self-esteem. Include types of behavior 
and words or phrases that family members do to support self-esteem. On the 
second silhouette, list things that can happen in families to interfere with the 
development of positive self-esteem. Include words or behaviors that are insensi- 
tive to needs and are dominating or oppressive. Display the silhouettes in the 
classroom and note similarities and differences between the responses of various 
small groups. Compare the behaviors that enhance self-esteem with those listed 
below. 

Providing words of encouragement 
Having confidence in a person's abilities 
Helping a person learn new skills 
Listening to a person's opinions and feelings 

Making opportunities for a person to participate in making decisions about 
things that will affect him or her 

Discussion Questions 

• How important is the influence of family in developing a positive self-esteem? 

• Is it possible for family members to have a negative influence on self-esteem 
even though they mean well? 

• Do the behaviors you have identified have different meanings for different 
families? Different family members? Why or why not? 

• What can family members do when their family situation does not support 
' positive self-esteem? 

• What skills do you need to enhance the self-esteem of others? 

c. Using resources, define the word affirmation. Read AfRrmations for Family 
Members Throughout the Life Cycle (p. 120-121). Using life cycle stage 
posters developed eariier in this module, compare the affirmations to the devel- 
opmental tasks and characteristics of each stage. Explain why the specific 
affirmations have been chosen for various stages and how these affirmations 
relate to supporting and nurturing family members. As needed, identify other 
ways to reword the affirmations to make them culturally appropriate. Choose an 
affirmation and create a role-play illustrating how that affirmation could be used 
in a family setting to support family members. 

d. Design a bulletin board entitled "Heart Hugs" that illustrates affirmations for 
family members of various ages. Cut out shapes of hearts with two arms at- 
tached to each side of the heart. Create and write an affirmation and the age for 
which the affirmation is appropriate on each heart shape and curl the arms 
forward to represent a hug. Display the affirmation hearts on the bulletin board. 




(1) 
(2) 
(3) 
(4) 
(5) 



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Nurturing Human Development 



C CONTENT ^ A 
MODULE ^ J 

4. Change 
throughout 
the life span 



a. Read the situations below. Create a chart on the chalkboard summarizing the 
situations showing the developmental stage, needs, and stresses or conflicts of 
each situation. Explain how changes in developmental stages can result in 
changing needs and sometimes cause stress and conflict in the family. 



(1) Carl and Cassandria have been married about two years. Their first child 
was bom two months ago, Carl and Cassandria were very happy as a mar- 
ried couple and enjoyed spending time together. Now that the baby has 
come, they seem to spend less and less time together. Carl feels their rela- 
tionship is suffering because of the time the baby demands of Cassandria. 

(2) Angie's daughter recently turned two and Angie feels that her daughter is 
constantly into trouble. He daughter seems to constantly be getting into 
things she shouldn't, climbing on furniture and shelving where she is in 
danger of falling, and throwing tantrums when she is guided away from 
things she would like to play with. Angie worries that her daughter is 
unhappy, and can't believe she is so different from the happy baby she has 
always been. 

(3) George has a fifteen-year-old daughter whom he loves very much. He has 
always been proud that they have been very close. Lately, however, she has 
seemed very distant. She rarely talks to him and when he asks how things 
are going, she answers very simply, "Fine," George is worried that his 

' relationship with his daughter is deteriorating, 

(4) Bethany is preparing to go to college, something she has looked forward to 
for a long time. She has rented an apartment near campus and collected old 
furniture from friends and family. With classes beginning on Monday, she is 
moving in this weekend, but she is having second thoughts. What will it be 
like to live on her own? Will she be able to make it on her limited budget? 
Will she like being so far away from her family? 

(5) Bill and Janet Rose have retired and were looking forward to spending time 
alone. After several months of retirement, however. Bill finds that he is 
often bored and watches television practically the whole day, Janet is going 
crazy having Bill around the house all the time. 



b. React to the following quotation: "To exist is to change; to change is to mature; 
to mature is to create oneself endlessly" (Henri Bergson), Write a short para- 
graph about a time when you or someone you know had to adapt to changing 
developmental needs. In pairs, share your stories and identify strategies for 
adapting to changing needs. Read the list of factors below and identify how each 
factor might help when adapting to changes in developmental needs. Explain 
ways family members can nurture other family members experiencing changes. 



IIV 

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Nurturing Human Development 




(1) An awareness of developmental stages 

(2) The ability to gain and process new information 

(3) Skill in recognizing and expressing emotions 

(4) An attitude that change is part of life 

(5) A supportive family environment 

(6) A system of support outside the family 

(7) The ability to relax and manage stress 



Management 
of resources 
to nurture 
development 



Discussion Questions 

• How will your needs change? How will they remain the same? 

• What developmental changes can you expect in your life in the next five years? 
Ten years? 

• What values and interaction patterns will help you continue to develop? 

• What skills do you have for coping with these changes? What skills would you 
like to develop? 

In Family Relations Research Teams, list specific tasks families must.do to meet 
the needs of family members, such as the examples below. Compile a class list 
of these tasks on the chalkboard. Place a star beside those tasks you personally 
juggle on a daily basis. List the consequences of having to juggle many of these 
tasks at the same time. 



(1) Preparing meals and snacks 

(2) Providing clothing 

(3) Maintaining a living environment 

(4) Guiding young children 

(5) Participating in family activities 

(6) Reading to and playing with young children 

(7) Balancing the checking account 

(8) Purchasing food, clothing, and other goods 

(9) Providing affirmations and encouragement 



Discussion Questions 

• How do each of the tasks above represent examples of nurturing behavior? 

• Why is it important to consider all levels of needs (physical, social, love and 
belonging, etc.) when nurturing family members? 

• How can family members manage the numerous tasks associated with meeting 
family needs? 



b. Complete Managing Resources in Families (p. 122). 



113 

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Nurturing Human Development 



C CONTENT ^ ^ 
MODULE ^ y 



Discussion Questions 

• How does managing resources effectively contribute to the development of family 
members? 

• Why are management skills important to nurturing family members? 

• What happens when families have many nurturing responsibilities to juggle but 
no management skills? 

• What management skills do you possess? Which would you like to improve? 

In cooperative learning groups, research one of the following management topics 
and present your findings to the class. Explain how the management skill you have 
researched helps to nurture family members. 

(1) Basic Budgeting 

(2) Time Management Techniques for Families 

(3) Planning Shared Responsibilities in Families 

(4) Community Resources to Help Families Manage 

(5) Smart Shopping 



Teacher Note: In preparation for the next learning activity, create a Family 
Wheel of Fortune by placing the various situations from Management 
Challenges (p. 123) on a large cardboard circle. Attach a spinner to the center 
of the circle, so that students can spin it and it will point to one of the situations. 
Mount the wheel on a bulletin board. 



d. In Family Relations Research Teams, complete Management Simulation (p. 124). 
Discussion Questions 

• How do your solutions to the management challenges reflect nurturing behavior? 

• What actions might family members take in these situations that would constrain 
development? 

• What management skills did you use in this simulation? 

• Which management skills are most important when nurturing family members? 

• How can the lack of management skills result in unmet needs of family members? 

e. Action Project: Set a goal with regard to the management of resources in your 
family, such as the use of time, money, or family skills and abilities. After discus- 
sion with family members, develop a plan to achieve your goal. Record your 
progress. Write a summary of your activities and evaluate whether or not you 
achieved your goal. Explain how the accomplishment of this goal has contributed 
to meeting the needs of family members. 



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MODULE ^ J 

Assessment 

Paper and Pencil 

1 . Given stages of development, identify at least two developmental tasks for each stage, 

2. Given a case study of a family, describe at least three ways that development could be nurtured within 
that family. 

3. Identify three ways to enhance the self-esteem of self and others. 

4. Given various stages of development, identify at least two basic needs of family members at each 
stage. 

5. Given case studies of various family systems, analyze how needs can be met within each system. 

6. Given case studies of various types of relationships, explain how each type of relationship meets 
human needs. 

7. Given case studies of various developmental stages, develop at least one strategy for adapting to 
change in each situation. 

8. Given case studies of various opportunities for resource management, analyze the relationship 
between managing those resources and meeting human needs by explaining the consequences of 
effectively managing and mismanaging those resources. 

9. Given family situations, develop at least two strategies for managing resources to meet the needs of 
family members. 

Classroom Experiences 

1 . In small groups, choose examples of family members and create an example of a situation in which 
the first family member is nurturing the second family member. Share your situation with the rest of 
the class. 

2. In cooperative learning groups, choose a stage of development and research that stage, identifying 
developmental tasks to be accomplished and approximate ages at which the stage is encountered. 
Present you findings to the class in a skit that depicts the developmental tasks of that stage. Create a 
poster that includes pictures and words appropriate for nurturing people at that particular stage of 
development. 




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3. Write a journal entry about your experience with developmental stages and tasks. Identify stages you 
remember in your own life and the ways in which family activities nurtured your development. 
Identify stages of family members you know and how the family activities in their lives support their 
development. 

4. Choose an affirmation and create a role-play illustrating how that affirmation could be used to 
enhance self-esteem in a family setting. . 

5. In cooperative learning groups, research a management topic and present your findings to the class. 

6. In small groups, create a family situation and assign each member of your group a family role. 
Develop a budget for the family and a plan that could be used by the family to share household 
responsibilities. Select a management challenge and explain how the family will deal with that 
situation. 

Application to ReaMife Settings 

1 . Visit a nursery or preschool and observe the interaction between caregiver and child. Identify situa- 
tions you believe are nurturing to the child's development. Record these situations and note similari- 
ties and differences. Write a summary of your findings. 

2. Interview members of your family to determine their activities related to the developmental tasks of 
their stage of development. Ask older family members to reflect on stages that they have experi- 
enced. Compile your findings in a written report. 

3. Volunteer at a community agency that serves the needs of families. Keep a journal of your volunteer 
work and write a summary of how this experience helped you gain an understanding of human needs 
and stages of development. ; 

4. Set a goal with regard to the management of resources in your family, such as the use of time, money, 
or family skills and abilities. After discussion with family members, develop a plan to achieve your 
goal. Record your progress. Write a summaiy of your activities and evaluate whether or not you 
achieved your goal. 




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Nurturing Development in Families 

Answer the questions in the chart below about how family activities can influence development of 
family members. Then ask the same questions of a classmate and record answers in the second column 
on the chart. 





YOU 


A Classmate 


What are two family activities, customs, or other 
special times that were especially meaningful to you? 


• 

1. 


1- 












2- 














In what ways do you think each of these 
special times influenced your development? 




1- 










2. 


2. 















Reflection Questions: 

• What are the similarities and differences between your answers and those of your classmate? 

• What kinds of family activities and customs might you encourage in your future family? 

• How would these activities or customs help family members' development? 



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Stages of Development 

For each stage of development identified in the left hand column, write the developmental tasks related 
to each stage. In the third column, identify at least three strategies for nurturing family members at that 
stage. 



Stage 



Infancy 



Developmental Tasks 



Strategies for Nurturance 



Toddlerhood 



Preschool 



School age 



Preadolescent 



Adolescent 



Early adult 



Middle adult 





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Maslow^s Pyramid of Human Needs 

Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who studied the needs that affect human behavior. He identified five 
levels of human needs and placed them in a pyramid as illustrated below. The needs at the lower level of the 
pyramid must be met before the next higher need on the pyramid can be met. 



Need 
for Self- 
actualization: 

A realization of full 
potential including 
concern and caring for 
the well-being of others. 



Need for Self-esteem: 

A sense of pride from accomplishments. 
The need to be considered as adequate, 
worthy, and deserving of respect. 



Need for Love and a Sense of Belonging: 

The need for acceptance, warmth, affection, 
and approval from others. 



Safety and Security: 

The need for protection from harm or injury and for 
security from threats. 



Basic Physical Needs: 

The need for food, water, shelter, warmth, and physical activity. 



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Source: Maslow, A. H. (1971). The farther reaches of humai^ nature. New York: Viking Press. 

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Page 1 of 2 



Affirmations for Family Members 
Throughout the Life Cycle 



yfhat are affirmations ? 

They are life supporting messages-any thing we do or say that lets others know that we believe they are lovable 
and capable. These messages affirm people's need and ability to grow and to do their developmental tasks. 

Are there other ways to give these messages? 

Yes, there arc lots of ways. You give them by the way you touch, look, respond to, spend time with, and pay 
attention to people. 

Why is it worthwhile to use these affirmations? 

We can use these affirmations to help us remember that we are capable people. They help us love and care for 
others. They remind us that we are always growing and that there is hope. 

How can affirmations help us? 

We can use affirmations to help us raise our self-esteem so that we have healthier bodies and healthier minds. 
Our posture improves, we are more attractive, productive, loving, and joyful 

What are the ^^Love Affirmations ?" 

The "love affirmations" are marked with hearts. They are the affirmations that say "I love you unconditionally 
for yourself and for doing your developmental tasks." 

Are there any rules for using the affirmations? 

Yes. Don't give an affirmation to someone else at a moment when you don*t feel and believe it. If you do, they 
may pick up the conflict in it and feel confused instead of affirmed. If you can't give some of these messages 
to your family members, do what you need to do for yourself (get help, rest, education, therapy, whatever) so 
that you can believe the messages and give them. 

Being, Stage 1, 0 to 6 months 

I'm glad you are alive. 
You belong here. 

What you need is important to me. 
I'm glad you are you. 
You can grow at your own pace. 
You can feel all of your feelings. 
^ \ love you and I care for you willingly. 

Doing, Stage 11, 6 to 18 months 

You can explore and experiment and I will support and protect you. 
You can use all of your senses when you explore. 
You can do all the things as many times as you need to. 
You can know what you know. 
You can be interested in everything. 
I like to watch you initiate and grow and learn. 
19 I love you when you are active and when you are quiet. 



V 



Source: Jean Illsley Clarke, 16535 9th Avenue N., Minneapolis, MN 55447 (612-473-1840). 



Family Relations 



f Nurturing Human Development 



Affirmations for Family Members Throughout the Life Cycle Page 2 of 2 

Thinking^ Stage HI, 18 months to 3 years 

Vm glad you are starting to think for yourself. 

It's OK for you to be angry and I won't let you hurt yourself or others. 

You can say no and push and test limits as much as you need to. 

You can learn to think for yourself and I will think for myself. 

You can think and feel at the same time. 
„ You can know what you need and ask for help. 
▼ You can become separate from me and I will continue to love you. 

Identity and Power, Stage IV, 3 to 6 years 

You can explore who you are and find out who other people are. 

You can be powerful and ask for help at the same time. 

You can try out different roles and ways of being powerful. 

You can find out the results of your behavior. 

All of your feelings are OK with me. 

You can learn what is pretend and what is real. 

T I love who you are. 

Structure, Stage V, 6 to 12 years 

You can think before you say yes or no and learn from your mistakes. 
You can trust your intuition to help you decide what to do. 
You can find a way of doing things that works for you. 
You can learn the rules that help you live with others. 
You can learn when and how to disagree. 

You can think for yourself and get help instead of staying in distress. 
T I love you even when we differ; I love growing with you. 

Identity, Sexuality, and Separation, Stage VI, Adolescence 

You can know who you are and learn and practice skills for independence. 

You can learn the difference between sex and nurturing and be responsible for your needs and behavior. 
You can develop your own interests, relationships, and causes. 
You can learn to use old skills in new ways. 

You can grow in your maleness or femaleness and still be dependent at times. 
I look forward to knowing you as an adult. 
^ My love is always with you. I trust you to ask my support. 

Interdependent, State VII, Adult years 
Your needs are important. 

You can be uniquely yourself and honor the uniqueness of others. 
You can be independent and interdependent. 

Through the years you can expand your commitments to your own growth, to your family, your friends, 

your community, and to all humankind. 
You can build and examine your commitments to your values and causes, your roles, and your tasks. 
You can be responsible to your contributions to each of your commitments. 
You can be creative, competent, productive, and joyful. 
You can trust your inner wisdom. 

\ou can say your hellos and good-byes to people, roles, dreams, and decisions. 
You can finish each part of your journey and look forward to the next. 
Your love matures and expands. 
5P You are lovable at every age. 



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Managing Resources in Families 

Juggling the many tasks associated with nurturing family members requires skill in management. The 
purpose of management is to use resources to bring about results. Resources are those things you can use to 
achieve your goals. Examples of resources include the following: 

• Personal resources: knowledge, skills, creativity, time, energy, confidence, self-esteem, or values 

• Environmental resources: natural gas, water, air, plants, minerals, or oil 

• Material resources: money, equipment, or supplies 

• Community resources: businesses, government agencies, schools, or roadways 

All of us possess resources. The management process involves deciding how to use these resources to reach 
our goals. Read the situations below and determine how each situation represents or does not represent an 
example of good management. Answer the following questions for each case study. Following your review 
of the situations, make a list of the characteristics of good management. 

• Are the needs of family members being met in this case study? Why or why not? 

• Which types of resources are most important in this situation? Least important? Why? 

• What are the consequences of this situation? 

• Would you make different management choices in the same situation ? Why or why not ? 

1. Cassie's family is on a limited budget. Each of her children is aware of the amount of money he or she can 
spend on clothes for school . If the children wish to spend more than the budget allows they must earn extra 
money elsewhere. She reads newspaper ads, notes items on sale, and makes lists of her family's needs 
before going shopping. She avoids purchasing anything on impulse. 

2. Grace's daughter is having trouble with math in school. Grace has set aside a certain time for her daughter 
to do homework and plans to be available if she needs help. She and her daughter have made a quiet place 
for homework that is well-lighted and has the necessary supplies. In addition, Grace has hired a tutor 
recommended by the school to help her daughter with algebra. 

3. Robert takes time every day after work to stop at a local deli or fast food restaurant to pick up dinner. Even 
though he spends a little more on his food budget than he would like, he doesn't like to cook much and has 
very little time to think about what to prepare for his family. 

4. Randal is having trouble getting his family 's budget under control. Each month he can barely afford to pay 
the minimum payment on all his credit cards. He enjoys giving his family the things they want and he feels 
he earns a good salary. It is hard for him to say no to his family's requests for new clothes, videotapes, or 
other things they would like to have. So he uses the credit cards to get what they want when they want it. 

5. Charise is a single-parent with a full-time job. Herson is going to be four and she is planning a big birthday 
party. She has asked her mother and sister to help with the party, so that she can enjoy the time with her 
son. Her mother is preparing the food. Her'sisterissendingtheinvitationsandwillhelpattheparty. Charise 
is planning a few games that her son enjoys. On the day of the party, she cleans the apartment and sets out 
the supplies needed for the party. When her son's friends arrive, she is with him at the door to greet them. 

6. WilliamandRitahavethreechildren,agesl2, 14,andl6. Ritahas recently taken a full-time job. William 
wanted to have all members of the family share the household.tasks, so he spent a whole evening developing 
a schedule listing who is to do what tasks. He taped the schedule to the refrigerator and told Rita and the 
kids about it. After a few days, William notices that no one is really following the schedule, and much of 
the work is still being left undone. 



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Management Challenges 



1. Your refrigerator just died. You must replace it immediately. 

2. You haven't been feeling well. You need to see the doctor and you haven't met your health 
insurance deductible. 

3. You want to give holiday gifts to family and friends. 

4. The muffler just fell off your car. You need to get your car repaired right away. 

5. Your child needs a new winter coat. 

6. The principle wage earner in your family loses his or her job. 

7. Your son just put a big dent in the family c?j*. It's bad enough to fix but not bad enough to 
meet your $200 deductible. . .not to mention that the premiums just went up. 

8. Your daughter wants a new dress to wear to prom. 

9. Your son plays basketball. He needs new tennis shoes. 

10. It's the week of Thanksgiving and your oven jiist went out. The service man says it's not 
worth fixing, so you'll need a new one. 

1 1 . The transmission on your car needs serious work. Get it repaired right away. You need your 
car for work. 

12. Your baby-sitter just quit. You need affordable daycare for your children. 

13. The school nurse sent a note home saying your son needs glasses. Your health insurance 
doesn't cover eye doctors. 

14. Your child is ready to start preschool. Find a quality, affordable preschool for two mornings a 
week. 

15. Your children need clothes and supplies for school. 

16. You have a baby on the way. You need to purchase some equipment and supplies. 



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Management Simulation 



In small groups, create a family situation and assign each member of your group a family role. Draw a 
poster depicting your simulated family, the names of family members, and their ages. Note any special 
considerations. Adult members of the family, if employed, should indicate job titles and research and 
determine appropriate salary levels. 

1. Develop a budget for your family. 



Monthly Income 



Monthly Expenses 

Housing (including rent or mortgage and utilities) 

Transportation 

Insurance 

Food 

Clothing 

Entertainment 

Gifts 



2. Develop a plan that your simulated family could use in sharing household responsibilities. 

3. Spin the Wheel of Fortune to determine a special situation for your family. Explain how you will deal 
with that situation. 

a. In the space below, identify resources you might use to deal with the realities of this situation. 



Resources 


Environmental Resources 


Community Resources 


Material Resources 



. After developing your plan, answer the questions below: 

(1 ) How can you continue to meet the needs of family members in this situation? 

(2) What are your most important resources for managing this situation? 

(3) Does your plan exhibit good management? Why or why not? 

(4) What changes did you have to make in your family budget? 

(5) Does this situation reflect one that would happen to most families? Why or why not? 

(6) How could families prepare for this situation? 



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Forming One's Own Family 



Module Overview 




(CONTENT 'I 
MODULE 'J J 



Practical 

Problem: What should I do about forming my own family? 

Competency 5*0*3: Analyze factors related to forming one's own family 



Competency 
Builders: 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



5.0.3. 1 Evaluate interrelationship between various family systems and personal goals and 
values 

5.0.3.2 Recognize significance of relationships during adolescence 
5.0.3.3 Describe concept of commitment and its role in family formation 
5.0.3.4 Describe concept of love and its role in family formation 
5.0.3.5 Define emotional and physical intimacy 

5.0.3.6 Distinguish between responsible and irresponsible ways to express emotional and 
physical intimacy 

5.0.3.7 Identify factors to consider in determining personal readiness to form one's own 
family 

5.0.3.8 Evaluate personal readiness to form one's own family 

5.0.3.9 Evaluate factors to consider in choosing a partner 

5.0.3.10 Analyze gender expectations and division of tasks in relationships 

5.0.3.1 1 Assess responsibilities of and personal readiness for parenthood 



Personal goals and values for forming one's own family 
Significance of relationships during adolescence 
Role of commitment and love in family formation 
Emotional and physical intimacy 
Personal readiness for family formation 
Factors in choosing a partner 
Gender expectations in relationships 
Responsibilities and readiness for parenthood 



Rationale 



Teacher Background Information 



How will I know when I am ready for marriage? How will I know when I am ready for parenting? These 
are examples of the practical problems associated with family formation. Marriage is normative. In 1991, 
only ten percent of men and nine percent of women aged 40 to 44 had never been married. Among those 
65 and over, four percent of men and five percent of women had never been married (U. S. Bureau of the 
Census, 1992). Most people expect to marry, but they wonder about when is the best time and how to 
choose a good partner. The importance of these questions cannot be underestimated. Having a satisfying 



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CONTENT ^ \ 
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Forming One's Own Family 



marriage is a greater determinant of life satisfaction and general well-being than any other domain of life, 
including work, friendships, hobbies, and community activity (Weingarten & Bryant, 1987; Broman, 1988). 
However, few persons possess the communication, conflict management, and problem-solving skills 
critical to marital satisfaction. Couples must be ready to cultivate marriage as a working, growing relation- 
ship. 

As with marriage, the desire i j have children is also normative. In 1990, 9.4 percent of women aged 18 to 
34 expected to have no children in their lifetime (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1992). In a national survey of 
married men and women who currently had no children but were of childbearing age, men were more likely 
to endorse the view that it is better to have children than to be child-free than were women (Seccombe, 
1991). Women are becoming increasingly sensitive to the potential conflicts between career aspirations 
and motherhood. Especially among women who have had four years of college or more, an increasing 
percentage perceive that they will have to make a choice between having children and having a career. 
Nonetheless, it appears that for most people the practical problems related to childbearing are "when is the 
best time to have children?" and "How many children do I want to have?" 



Background 

Most Americans believe that the central ingredient in any enduring intimate relationship is love. Yet love 
is very difficult to define. Many adolescents who are just starting to explore romantic relationships wonder 
how they can tell if they are in love. Robert Sternberg (1988) found that love could be described as a set of 
feelings, thoughts, and motives that contribute to communication, sharing, and support. In his view, almost 
all types of love can be viewed as a combination of three dimensions: intimacy-the emotional investment 
in a relationship that promotes closeness and connection; passion-the expression of physical and psycho- 
logical needs and desires in the relationship; and commitment-the cognitive decision to remain in the 
relationship. Love relationships differ in the balance and intensity of these three dimensions. For example, 
romantic love usually has a larger dose of passion than love between friends. In romantic love relation- 
ships, the lovers usually describe their relationship as characterized by fascination, exclusiveness, and 
sexual desire. The intensity of these characteristics accounts for some of the unsettling euphoria and 
preoccupation that often accompany deep and vital love. It also helps us understand why these kinds of 
relationships may be difficult to sustain. 

One can speak of love of a painting, a poem, or a car without any response from the object itself. But when 
we talk about forming enduring love relationships, the focus must be on the achievement of mutuality 
between the partners. A truly intimate bond involves the ability of both partners to experience an open, 
supportive, tender relationship without fear of losing their own identity. The partners in such a relationship 
are able to understand each other's point of view. They experience a sense of confidence and respect for 
one another as well as a deep affection. In such a relationship, the partners can disclose personal thoughts 
and feelings without fear of rejection and sense an acceptance which permits the exploration of new feel- 
ings and ideas (Newman & Newman, 1995). 

Where do adolescent relationships fall in the process of learning to love and making decisions about family 
formation? Adolescents tend to spend time in groups rather than in the formal dyads that used to comprise 
"dating." On special occasions, couples may go to a dance as a date but even couples who are "going 



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Forming One's Own Family 



C CONTENT ^ \ 
MOPUiE ^ J 

together" often hang out with other friends. Nevertheless, there is a lot of heterosexual pairing of brief or 
long-lasting duration, and even more speculation and conversation between friends about the opposite sex. 
This heterosexual activity during adolescence serves a large variety of functions that contribute to social 
skill development and to the formation of values and goals related to long-term relationships. 

• It is a form of recreation. Girls and boys spend time together, have fun, and enjoy a sense of compan- 
ionship. 

• It is a way of achieving social status. Being part of a popular group or clique may improve one's 
standing in the social scene of the high school. 

• It is a way to learn about the opposite sex. Adolescents begin to sort out the differences in how boys 
and girls handle certain situations, how they deal with conflict, what they like to talk about, and how 
they react to one another. In addition, adolescents begin to see individual differences, recognizing those 
characteristics that make one boy different from another or one g\rl different from another. 

• It is a way to learn about one's own personality and needs. Through interactions in these groups, 
adolescents learn how vulnerable they are to peer pressure, the extent to which their ideas and values 
differ from those of others, how easy or difficult it is for them to disclose personal feelings, and how 
much they are viewed as a leader by their peers. By exploring intimate relationships within these 
groups, they learn to experience certain kinds of strong emotions including jealousy, love, and rejection. 

As adolescents experience relationships with more than one partner, they begin to sort out the characteris- 
tics they truly value. They begin to appreciate the special qualities in a partner. They can recognize the 
difference between being physically attracted to someone and actually forming a close, intimate relation- 
ship. As part of forming these relationships, adolescents experiment with the expression of sexuality. 
They learn about their own sexual needs, how to appropriately express sexual feelings, and how to cope 
with unwanted sexual demands. 

Most adults have experienced what they would consider to be deep, loving relationships that did not end . 
in marriage. What determines whether an intimate relationship ends in marriage? Numerous factors have 
been identified: 

• The social clock is the notion that there is an ideal age at which to encounter certain life transitions. 
Each social class has its own expectations about the best age for mate selection, and these normative 
expectations influence an individual's sense of "readiness" to marry. 

• Work on personal identity must be far enough along so that each partner feels he or she can enter a deep 
emotional involvement with another person without fearing the loss of their own sense of self. 

• Many young adults have goals related to personal identity that are considered a precursor to marriage. 
For example, families may encourage children to complete their education before marriage. A young 
person may set her or his own goal such as traveling, earning a certain income, or completing an 
advance degree before marriage. 

• The increased incidence of divorce has introduced a new cautiousness about entering into marriage. 
From 1960 to 1988, the divorce rate rose from 9.2 divorces per 1000 married couples to 21 divorces per 
1000 married couples (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1992). Although the rate reached its peak in 1979 
and has dropped slightly since then, one longitudinal study found that slightly over half of the marriages 
ended in divorce (Norton & Moorman, 1987). 

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Forming One's Own Family 



C CONTENT -2 A 
MODULE ^ J 

The relationship itself must reach a certain level of stability and closeness before a couple will make the 
commitment to marriage. Adams (1986) offered the notion of a four-phase process leading to marriage 
among couples in the United States. 

Phase I- Original Attraction. Partners are selected from among those who are available for interaction. 
Initial attraction is usually based on a combination of physical attraction and valued behaviors such as a 
good sense of humor, shared interests, and a compatible interpersonal or social style. 

Phase II-Deeper Attraction. The relationship becomes more serious as the partners disclose more about 
themselves and discover new areas of similarity, sexual compatibility, and shared values. 

Phase Ill-Barriers to Breakup. As a result of spending time together in a variety of situations, the 
couple's relationship begins to take on a life of its own. Friends and relatives come to recognize the 
partners as a couple. The partners themselves approach tasks together, solve problems together, and 
discover that as a team they can accomplish more and enjoy the challenges of life more than they did 
without one another. 

Phase IV-The Right One Relationship. At this point, the couple is ready to make a long-term commit- 
ment, usually expressed in the decision to marry. 




At each phase, it is possible that the relationship will terminate or that it will move to a new, deeper level 
of commitment. In the eariy phases, commitment to the relationship is always in competition with 
alternate attractions, not only attractions to other potential partners, but attractions to invest more time in 
work, or to achieve some new goal that would make marriage or a serious relationship less likely. As the 
relationship continues, some kinds of disclosures, such as the realization that the partners differ in their 
values about having children or in life goals can terminate the relationship. But as these challenges are 
overcome, social forces act to sustain the relationship and prevent it from dissolving. 

The societal context for childbearing in the United States has changed markedly from the 1950s to today. 
In general, women are having fewer babies than in the past. However, if one takes a longer historical 
look, the decline in fertility is the continuation of a 100-year trend. Involvement of women in the labor 
force, increases in educational opportunities for women, improvements in health care resulting in reduced 
infant mortality, and reproductive and contraceptive technologies have all contributed to women having 
greater control over their reproductive experiences. Married women are waiting longer to begin 
childbearing and are letting more time pass between births. Although we typically think of family 
formation as beginning with the establishment of a long-term commitment between the adult partners, 
there has been an increase in the numbers of babies bom to unmarried women, especially adolescents and 
older women (in their 30s). 

Thus, childbearing is occurring in a much more varied context today than in the past. Although social 
norms may operate to encourage or discourage entry into parenthood at a certain age, it is more important 
than ever that young people examine their own values, beliefs, and goals as they relate to the desire for 
having children and the ability to provide the long-term support for their children. 

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Forming One's Own Family 




C CONTENT ^ \ 
MODULE ^ y 



The decision to bear a child is a complex one that involves social factors, personal needs and values, the 
needs and values of others in one's family, and a consideration of one's resources. For these reasons, 
such decisions differ among various cultural groups, educational groups, economic groups, and, within 
these groups, from one couple of childbearing age to the next. There is no one right or best scenarioior 
having children. It depends on what works out for the continuing optimal development of the parents, the 
child, and the parent-child relationship. Of course, many births to both married and unmarried women are 
"unplanned.'' However, even these births are a product of certain decisions -the decision to have sexual 
relations or the decision about whether or not to use a contraceptive. 

Social factors include social expectations or norms for having or not having children at a certain age; 
norms about having babies outside of marriage; potential conflicts between other roles, especially the 
roles of student or worker, and the parent role; and pressures from family and friends to bear or not bear 
children. 

In addition, there are personal needs and values that influence the decision. These needs and values may 
be related to one's religious beliefs; one's gender identity; the extent'to which one endorses traditional or 
nontraditional gender-role expectations; and one's personality, especially characteristics that might be 
described as nurturant, optimistic, and caring. In surveys about the value of having children, most people 
emphasize emotional satisfactions, especially having someone to love, giving purpose and meaning to 
life, and bringing a new level of closeness and unity to the family. Other benefits are more pragmatic 
such as having a playmate for another child, having someone to care for them in their old age, or adding a 
new focus of activities and challenges in life. And some believe that having a child is a mark of having 
reached adulthood and evidence of the full expression of their male or female role (Seccombe, 1991). 

Some research suggests that childbearing eariy in life is related to high levels of stress and rejection in the 
parent-child relationship, which lead the daughter to behave in impulsive ways and to seek affection 
outside the home (Belsky, Steinberg, & Draper, 1991). Many young adolescents express the view that by 
having a baby, they will finally have someone in their life who really loves them and who needs them. 
Thus, even though they may not have sought pregnancy, they are not unhappy about the outcome (Pete & 
DeSantis, 1990). 

The needs and values of others may come into play. Marital partners may disagree about whether or not 
to have children or about the timing for having children. The demands of a first child who has some 
serious physical or mental challenge may influence the decision to have other children. The idea that 
having a child might save a marriage or bind a boyfriend into a permanent commitment are examples of 
how childbearing decisions are linked to other facets of relationships. 

Finally, children involve significant costs. In the past, children were considered an economic asset. They 
helped contribute to the family economy, and they were viewed as an insurance that there would be 
someone around to care for the parents as their economic productivity declined in old age. However, 
today, children are valued more for their emotional and social contributions than for their economic 
contributions to the family. They require financial, emotional, and physical resources. In addition, the 
time and attention thai are devoted to childrearing can be viewed as an opportunity cost in that this time 



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and attention cannot be directed to other activities. Finally, children often introduce new tensions into the 
marital relationship and reduce the amount of time the couple has for intimate adult companionship when 
the child is not present. Couples need to be confident of the strength of their relationship and believe 
strongly in the values and satisfactions associated with having children in order to offset these costs. 

References 

Adams, B. N. (1986). The family: A sociological interpretation (4th ed.). San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, 
&Jovanovich. 

Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., & Draper, P. (1991). Childhood experience, interpersonal development, and 
reproductive strategy: an evolutionary theory of socialization. Child Development, 62, 647-670. 

Broman, C. L. (1988). Significance of marriage and parenthood for satisfaction among blacks. Journal 
of Marriage and the Family, 50, 45-5 1 . 



. Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R (1995). Development through life: A psychosocial approach (6th ed.). 
Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. 



Norton, A.- J., & Moorman, J. E. (1987). Current trends in marriage and divorce among American 
women. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49, 3-14. 

Pete, J. M., & DeSantis, L. (1990). Sexual decision making in young black adolescent females. Adoles- 
cence, 25, 1 45- 1 54. 

Schoen, R. (1992). First unions and the stability of first marriages. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 
54, 281-284. 

Seccombe, K. (1991). Assessing the costs and benefits of children: Gender comparisons among 
childfree husbands and wives. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, 191-202. 

Sternberg, R. J. (1988). The triangle of love. New York: Basic Books. 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. (1992). Statistical abstract of the United States: 1992. Washington, D. C: 
U. S. Government Printing Office. 

Weingarten, H. R., & Bryant, F. B. (1987). Marital status and subjective well-being. Journal of Mar- 
riage and the Family, 49, 883-892. 



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Learning Activities 



Personal goals a. Write one function of the family identified in Module 1 : Analyzing the Signifi- 
and values for ' cance of Families at the top of a large sheet of newsprint. In small groups, 
forming one's choose one of the sheets of newsprint with a family function at the top and 
own family answer the questions below. Post the family function sheets of each group in the 

classroom. Individually, rank the functions in order of importance to your future 
family. Share your rankings and discuss similarities and differences in the order 
of importance. Explain how personal values and goals can influence these 
rankings. 

(1) What does this function of the family mean? 

(2) How will you provide this function to your future family? 

Discussion Questions 

• Why did you select any one particular function as more important than the 
other functions? 

• What values and goals influenced your rankings? 

• What are the most important things you can do for your future family to 
provide this function ? 

b. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook describing the family you would 
like to build in your future. Use the questions below to reflect on your future 
family. ^ 

( 1 ) What values do you have now that will be important to your future family? 

(2) What goals do you have for forming a family in the future? How will you 
know when you have achieved these goals? 

(3) How will your future faniily be similar to or different from the family you 
have now? 

(4) Which family functions will. be most important in your family? Why? 

(5) What skills will you need to form the type of family you would like to have? 

(6) What decisions will you face as you form your future family? 

c. In pairs, share the highlights of the journal entry you made in the previous 
learning activity, and make a list of decisions you will face as you form a family 
of your own. Share your list of decisions with the class and compare them with 
the following list of decisions. Compile a final list on the chalkboard. Explain 
how practical problem solving might be used in making these decisions and what 
types of information will be helpful as you create and evaluate alternatives. 



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(1) Should I get married? 

(2) When should I get married? 

(3) Who should I marry? 

(4) Should I have children? 

(5) When should I have children? 



2, Significance a. Make a list of all the different types of relationships you have at the present time, 
of relationships As a class, classify your list of relationships into the categories listed below, 
during Review Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as introduced in Content Module 2: 

adolescence Nurturing Human Development, and identify different types of needs met in the 

various relationships in your life. 

(1) Family relationships 

(2) Friendship relationships 

(3) Male/female relationships (dating) 

(4) Acquaintances through school, work, or community organizations 
Discussion Questions 

• How have these relationships changed over the last few years as they have 
matured? 

• How have these relationships remained the same over the last few years? 

• Which of these relationships represent those in which you share your inner 
most thoughts and feelings? Why? 

• Which of these relationships will continue throughout life? Which will not? 
Why? 

• What circumstances might cause these relationships to end? 

• How will having these relationships help prepare you for the relationships you 
will have as an adult? 



Teacher Note: The students in your community may have a different word or 
phrase that is used in place of the word dating. If so, incorporate this word into 
the next few activities. The object is to get students talking about adolescent 
male/female relationships and the opportunities and responsibilities involved in 
these types of relationships. 



In pairs, write a definition for the word dating. Survey students at your school to 
determine how often they go out on dates and what activities they do when on a 
date. Chart your survey results and share with other groups. If necessary, revise 
your definition of dating. Post the definitions in the classroom. 



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Discussion Questions 

• Does your definition of the word dating cover the kinds of activities boys and 
girls do together in your community? Why or why not? 

• What words do your friends use to describe such activities? 

• Is dating different than it was ten years ago? The same? Why or why not? 

c. Compete Getting Together (p. 145). 
Discussion Questions 

• What can you learn about yourself through dating? 

• What relationship skills do you learn? 

• What can you learn from a dating relationship that fails? 

• How can dating help prepare you for future relationships? 

d. In pairs, interview your partner to detennine the criteria for a good date. Ask 
about dating activities and behavior such as appropriate ways to get to know your 
dating partner and ways to express caring and respect. Using the criteria shared 
in the interview, create five to ten real-life dates that meet your criteria. Share 
with the class and identify criteria you have in common. Compile your criteria 
into "Guidelines for a Great Date." 



Discussion Questions 

• Which criteria are most important? Least impaytant? Why? 

• How do the criteria you selected reflect your personal goals and values? 

• Why should you be aware of your criteria for dating behavior and activities? 

Bring in a recording of a love song to share with the class. Write down the lyrics 
of the songs and identify the message about love and commitment described by 
each song. Explain whether these songs match what you believe to be true about 
love and commitment. 

Discussion Questions 

• Do these lyrics paint a realistic or unrealistic picture of love? Why or why 
noi? 

• Do these songs influence what people your age believe to he true about love? 
Why or why not? 

b. Interview two males and two females to determine their definition love. Note the 
ages of those you interview. Share your findings with the class. Then write your 
own definition of love in your journal. Keep this definition for later reference. 




3. Role of 
commitment 
and love in 
family 
formation 



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On the chalkboard, write various phrases that include the word love as a way to 
illustrate how this word is often used. Using classroom resources, identify 
different types of love, such as those listed below. Define and give examples of 
each type. 

(1) Self-love 

(2) Love of caregiver 

(3) Love of peers 

(4) Hero worship 

(5) Love of opposite gender 

(6) Mature love 

Using your school librarian as a resource, research examples of definitions of 
love and loving relationships in literature. Choose classical poetry or essays on 
love, or read a biography or autobiography and analyze the role a loving relation- 
ship has played in that person's life story. Summarize the meaning of love as 
portrayed in the literature in a five-minute report to the class. 

In Family Relations Research Teams, draw a chart with three columns: (1) What 
does a loving relationship look like? (2) What does a loving relationship sound 
like? and (3) What does a loving relationship feel like? In each column record 
examples of behaviors or feelings that characterize a loving relationship. Form 
new cooperative groups, compare your charts and add any new information. 
Read Love or Infatuation? (p. 146) and compare the information on your chart 
with the information on the handout. Discuss the questions below and share your 
responses with the class. 

(1) How would a relationship characterized by infatuation affect your relation- 
ship with other friends? Your school work? You relationship with your 
parents? 

(2) How would a relationship characterized by love affect your relationship with 
other friends? Your school work? You relationship with your parents? 

(3) Does being infatuated lend itself to jealousy? Does being in love lend itself 
to jealousy? Why or why not? 

Discussion Questions 

• Do you disagree with any of the characteristics identified on the handout? 
Why or why not? 

• What are the most important distinctions between loving relationships and 
relationships based on infatuation? 

• Why is it important to know the difference between love and infatuation? 



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f . FHA/HERO: Invite a panel of couples who have been married for a various 
number of years. Create questions to ask the panel to determine a greater insight 
into the role of love and commitment in lasting relationships. Sample questions 
are listed below. After the presentation, write a definition of the word commit- 
ment. 



Emotional 
and physical 
intimacy 



(1) How important is commitment in a loving relationship? 

(2) What type of values are reflected in this type of commitment? 

(3) How does this type of commitment affect your goals? 

(4) What are your expectations of a partner who has^ made such a commitment? 

(5) What happens when the behavior does not meet the expectations? 

(6) What can couples do to maintain love and commitment over a long period? 

(7) What is the most important quality for enduring love? 

g. Using the definition of love you initially wrote in Activity 3b, write a journal 
entry in your reflection notebook on whether or not you would revise that defini- 
tion based on what you have just studied. Support your decision. Continue your 
journal entry by focusing on commitment. Use the questions below to reflect on 
your experience with commitment. 

( 1 ) What are your present commitments? 

(2) What is the biggest commitment you ever had? 

(3) What commitments do you expect to have in five years? Ten years? 

(4) What do you need to do in order to be ready to accept these commitments? 

a. Use classroom resources to define the word intimacy. Read Seven Different 
Kinds of Intimacy (p. 147). 

Discussion Questions 

• What is the importance of each of these types of intimacy in a relationship? 

• What is the role of each of these types of intimacy in the different relationships 
you have experienced? 

• Do people have different needs for these levels of intimacy? Why or why not? 

b. List ways couples display emotional intimacy » such as those listed below. Ex- 
plain why emotional intimacy might be considered one of the most important 
parts of a relationship. 

(1) Meaningful conversation 

(2) Careful listening 

(3) Words of encouragement or appreciation 

(4) Sharing of deepest feelings and thoughts 




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c. Complete Responsible and Irresponsible Intimacy (p. 148). In pairs, share 
your responses and list the distinguishing characteristics of responsible emotional 
and physical intimacy. 

Discussion Questions 

• What criteria did you use to determine whether a behavior was responsible or 
irresponsible? 

•Why do people sometimes behave in irresponsible ways? 

• How do the responsible behaviors reflect the Universal Values identified in 
Process Module 2: Solving Personal and Family Problems? 

• What are the long-term consequences of responsible behaviors? Irresponsible 
behaviors? 




d. FHA/HERO: Choose a topic related to responsible or irresponsible physical 
intimacy, such as those listed below. Invite a speaker or panel of speakers to 
class to discuss that topic. 



(1) Acquaintance rape 

(2) Physical abuse of partner 

(3) Sexually transmitted disease 

(4) Abstinence 

(5) Birth control 



/ 

Teacher Note: These topics should be selected with an awareness of value 

systems represented in your community, and the support of the Work and 
Family Life Program Advisory Committee and the local school board toward 
addressing these issues in the classroom. 



Action Project: Choose an issue related to responsible expression of physical 
intimacy such as those listed below. Research how best to take action on that 
issue and design a pamphlet for distribution to your peers to inform them about 
that issue. Once the pamphlet is completed, distribute it to several of your peers 
and record their reaction to the material. 



(1) Preventing Date Rape 

(2) Avoiding Abusive Relationships 

(3) How to Assert Your Rights and Feelings in a Relationship 

(4) STD Prevention 



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Personal 
readiness 
for family 
formation 




C CONTENT -1 ^ 
MODULE J J 



Complete the sentence, "A person is ready for marriage when. . Share your 
responses with the class. Complete Personal Readiness for Family Formation 
(p. 149). From the questions and the responses to the sentence, make a list of 
readiness factors for marriage. Individually, rank the factors in order of impor- 
tance from most important to least important. In small groups, share your 
responses and note similarities and differences in the rankings. 



Discussion Questions 

• Which of these factors are most important? Least important? Why? 

• How are your personal values and goals reflected in your rankings? 

• How is your knowledge of love and commitment reflected in your rankings? 

b. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook listing the personal goals you 
would like to achieve before marriage. Then, if you are planning to marry 
someday, list the goals you want to achieve after you are married. Then reflect 
on the questions below. 

Do you see marriage in your future? Why or why not? 
Would it be difficult to accomplish your first list of goals if you married 
sooner than planned? Why or why not? 

What will you need to do to accomplish the goals you have listed for after 
marriage? 




c. Read Predicting Marital Happiness (p. 1 50). 



Discussion Questions 

• Why do you think each of the favorable factors were included in the list? 

• How would you sum up the favorable factors? The unfavorable factors? 

• Which of the factors can you control? Which are impossible to control? Why? 

d. Read Relationships-Deeper Commitments (p. 151). 

e. Action Project: Interview couples who have been married a number of years. 
Ask them about the traits they looked for in a marriage partner and the factors 
they considered before getting married. Report your findings in a written sum- 
mary and an oral presentation to the class. 



6. Factors in 
choosing a 
partner 



Divide a sheet of paper into eight sections. In each section, write a quality you 
would like to have in a future marriage partner. Cut the paper into eight pieces 
and place them in order of importance according to which quality is most impor- 
tant down to that quality that is least important. In cooperative learning groups, 
share responses and choose three qualities you would agree as a group are most 
important. Share your list with the class. Note similarities and differences in 



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?• Gender 
expectations 
in relationships 



responses. Identify which of the quaUties were most often selected as most 
important in a future marriage partner. 

Discussion Questions 

• What are the long-term consequences of selecting a marriage partner with 
these qualities? 

• What criteria did you use to decide which qualities were most important? 
Least important? 

• Will you feel differently about this list of qualities five years from now? Ten 
years from now? 

b. Write a want ad for a future partner. Include at least four traits you are looking 
for in a future partner. Post your want ads in the classroom. 

c. Complete Desirable Qualities (p. 1 52). In small groups, share your answers 
and identify similarities and differences in responses. 

d. FHA/HERO: Hold a Qualities of a Future Partner Auction. Distribute Auction 
Worksheet (p. 153) and allow time for chapter members to consider which 
qualities they would like to bid on. Give each chapter member $1000 in play 
money. Choose an auctioneer. Offer each item for sale one at a time. Bids can 
be made in any amount of ten dollar increments. Each item may be purchased by 
only one chapter member. Following the auction, lead discussion with the 
questions below. 

(1) Are you pleased with the qualities you purchased? Why or why not? 

(2) If you could do it over again would you bid on or buy different items? 

(3) If your partner were to have the qualities you purchased, would a future 
marriage be successful? Why or why not? 

(4) If you were asked to rank order the items in terms of your preference, what 
would the order be? 

e. FHA/HERO: Invite a family counselor or clergy person to class to discuss 
premarital counseling procedures. 

f. FHA/HERO: Invite a panel of people from various cultures to discuss how 
selection of marriage partners is conducted in their culture. Note similarities and 
differences between their cultures and your own culture. 

a. Hold a roundtable discussion in same-gender groups. For female groups, iden- 
tify, "Things Guys Do That Drive Giris Crazy.'' For male groups, identify 
"Things Giris Do That Drive Guys Crazy." Save responses for later discussion. 



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b. Complete That's Your Job! (p. 1 54). 



Discussion Questions 

• How have the expectations of men and women changed in the last 20 years? 

• Do you expect the roles in your future family to be the same as those in your 
present family? Why or why not? 

• How might these jobs change as one moves through the life cycle? 

• How should married partners decide what roles are appropriate for men and 
women ? 



c. Complete Marriage Contract (p. 155). In pairs, share your contract and discuss 
how many of the responsibilities you identified represent traditional or nontradi- 
tional roles. 



FHA/HERO: Invite a panel of former students who have recently been married. 
Ask the panel members to discuss how tasks are divided in their family. Develop 
questions such as those listed below. 

(1) What things are you doing now that represent nontraditional roles? 

(2) Are the roles you are performing similar to or different from the roles in the 
family in which you grew up? 

(3) How did you go about deciding who would fulfill the various resporfsibilities 
in your family? 

(4) Which roles, if any, tend to create conflict? Why? 



e. Complete the statements, "Women are. . .," and "Men are. . ." Compile re- 
sponses on the board. Indicate which of the statements you believe to be factual 
and which are myths about differences between men and women. In Family 
Relations Research Teams, research differences and similarities between men 
and women. Develop a chart highlighting biological, intellectual, and emotional 
differences between men and women. When your chart is complete, form new 
groups and compare the charts you have developed. Add any additional informa- 
tion to your chart that other groups have researched. Review the list made by 
same-gender groups in Activity 7a and your responses to the open-ended state- 
ments in this activity. Identify your observations about gender characteristics 
that are supported by research. 

Discussion Questions 

•Are some societal expectations about differences between men and women 
supported by research ? 

• Wfrnt are the greatest myths about the differences between men and women? 

• How might this discussion affect your relationships with others? 

• How will the information you learned be helpful as you form a family in the 
future? 

139 144 




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f . View excerpts from television programs to identify ways that male and female 
roles are depicted in the media. Keep a record of programs watched, male and 
female characters, and role responsibilities of the characters. In small groups, 
share your findings and draw conclusions about men's and women's roles in the 
media. 

Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook about your thoughts and 
feelings about parenting. Use the questions below to guide your reflection. 

(1) 1 would v/ant children because ... 

(2) I would not want children because . . . 

(3) The thing I like best about children is . . . 

(4) A good parent is someone who ... 

(5) A baby brings a couple . . . 

b. In small groups, write a definition for parenthood and parenting. Use classroom 
resources to find definitions for these terms and compare them to your small 
group definitions. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to understand the responsibilities of parenting? 

• Should people think carefully before undertaking parenthood? Why or why 
not? 

• What are the consequences when people become parents too soon ? Without an 
understanding of the commitment involved in responsible parenting? 

c. Use classroom resources to answer the question, "What responsibilities do 
parents have toward children today?" Categorize the responses into the areas of 
responsibility listed below. 

(1) Physical care 

(2) Nurturing 

(3) Guidance 

Discussion Questions 

• Which responsibilities are most important? Least important? Why? 

• Which responsibilities are most difficult to fulfill as a parent? Least difficult? 
Why? 

• What happens when parents do not fulfill these responsibilities? 

d. In small groups, make a list of reasons for becoming a parent. Siiare your lists 
with the class. Identify those reasons you would consider to be positive and 
those you would consider to be negative reasons. Justify your response. 



8. Responsibilities a. 
and readiness 
for parenthood 



140 



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Discussion Questions 

• How did you decide which reasons were positive and which were negative? 

• What happens when people choose to become parents solely for a negative 
reason? 

• What happens when people choose to become parents mostly for positive 
reasons? 

e. In Family Relations Research Teams, choose one of the age groups below and 
research the costs of parenting a child at that age. Place your information in the 
form of a chart. Form new cooperative groups and share information so that your 
chart contains cost data for all the ages listed below. 

(1) Childbirth and infancy 

(2) Toddler 

(3) Preschooler 

(4) School age 
(4) Adolescent 

Discussion Questions 

• Should cost be a factor when considering readiness for parenthood? Why or 
why not? 

• Are there ways to reduce or avoid any of these costs? Why or y^hy not? 

• What happens when parents cannot meet their financial obligations as a 
parent? 

f. Complete Parenthood as a Personal Choice (p. 1 56). Explain why each of the 
questions is included on the list. 

g. Complete What's It Like to Be a Parent? (p. 1 57). In Family Relations Re- 
search Teams, compile the responses to the interview questions, noting similari- 
ties and differences in the interview data. Form new cooperative groups and 
share and compare findings. 

h. FHA/HERO: Invite at least four brand new parents to class to discuss what the 
new experience of parenthood is like for them. Prepare questions to ask the 
panel, such as those listed below. Following the panel discussion, write a 
sentence or two summarizing the most important thing you learned. 

(1) What is the greatest change in your life since the birth of your new baby? 

(2) What are the financial commitments at this stage of parenthood? 

(3) How much physical energy does it take to be a parent? 

(4) How has the birth of your child affected your other life goals? Marriage 
goals? Career goals? Community involvement goals? Social goals? 



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(5) How has the birth of your child affected your relationships with others? 
Parents? Spouse? Neighbors? Friends? Work? 

(6) What are the greatest challenges for you as a parent in this stage of your 
child's life? 

i. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook summarizing your own readi- 
ness for parenthood and your goals and expectations with regard to being a 
parent in your future family. 

(1) List several of your most important personal goals. Explain how each of 
these goals would be affected if you became a parent at your present age. 

(2) Do you see yourself having children someday? If so, when? 

(3) What factors will you consider when you decide whether or not you are 
ready? 

(4) What type of parent do you wish to become? 



Paper and Pencil 

1 . Write a paragraph explaining how personal goals and values will influence how one forms one's own 
family. 

2. Given a variety of examples of different types of relationships, explain why each type is significant to 
development during adolescence. 

3. Write a paragraph describing the concept of commitment and its role in family formation. 

4. Write a paragraph describing the concept of love and its role in family formation. 

5. Define emotional and physical intimacy. 

6. Given examples of expressions of intimacy, distinguish between responsible and irresponsible ways 
to express emotional and physical intimacy. 

7. Identify at least five factors to consider in determining personal readiness to form one's own family. 

8. Given factors to determine readiness for marriage, evaluate personal readiness to form one's own 
family. 



Assessment 



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CCOOTENT ^ ^ 
MODULE ^ J 

9. Evaluate factors to consider in choosing a partner by explaining the consequences of choosing a 
partner by considering and not considering each factor. 

10. Given case studies, analyze gender expectations and division of tasks in each relationship by identify- 
ing the consequences of roles and expectations. 

11. Given factors for parenting readiness, assess responsibilities of and personal readiness for parenthood. 



Classroom Experiences 

1 . In small groups, survey students at your school to determine how often they go out on dates and what 
activities they do when on a date. Chart your survey results and share with other groups. 

2. In pairs, interview your partner to determine the criteria for a good date. Ask about dating activities 
and behavior such as appropriate ways to get to know your dating partner and ways to express caring 
and respect. Using the criteria shared in the interview, create five to ten real-life dates that meet your 
criteria. 

3. Interview two males and two females to determine their definition love. Note the ages of those you 
interview. Share your findings with the class. 

4. Research examples of definitions of love and loving relationships in literature. Choose classical 
poetry or essays on love, or read a biography or autobiography and analyze the role a loving relation- 
ship has played in that person's life story. Summarize the meaning of love as portrayed in the litera- 
ture in a five-minute report to the class. 

5. Write a want ad for a future partner. Include at least four traits you are looking for in a future partner. 
Post your want ads in the classroom. 

6. Design a marriage contract that reflects your values and goals with regard to how household tasks 
and family responsibilities should be divided between partners. 

7. In cooperative learning groups, research differences and similarities between men and women. 
Develop a chart highlighting biological, intellectual, and emotional differences between men and 
women. 

8. View excerpts from television programs to identify ways that male and female roles are depicted in 
the media. Keep a record of programs watched, male and female characters, and role responsibilities 
of the characters. 



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9. In cooperative learning groups, choose an age group and research the costs of parenting a child at that 
age. Place your information in the form of a chart. 

10. Interview at least three parents about their responsibilities as in parenting. In cooperative learning 
groups, compile the responses to the interview questions, noting similarities and differences in the 
interview data. 



Application to Real-life Settings 

1 . Choose an issue related to responsible expression of physical intimacy and research how best to take 
action on that issue. Design a pamphlet for distribution to your peers to inform them about that issue. 
Once the pamphlet is completed, distribute it to several of your peers and record their reaction to the 
material. 

2. Interview couples who have been married a number of years. Ask them about the traits they looked 
for in a marriage partner and the factors they considered before getting married. Report your findings 
in a written summary and an oral presentation to the class. 



144 



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f Forming One's Own Family 




Getting Together 

Dating involves a wide range of activities that teenagers do 
together. Dating can involve attending a major event at school 
like the prom or a homecoming dance or it can involve an informal 
activity like studying together or going to a movie. Whatever 
the arrangements, though, dating can be an important type of 
relationship in your life. Dating can be an opportunity to — 

^ Learn about yourself. Dating relationships help you learn about your own personality and develop your 
self-esteem. Learning about your identity can help enhance your development. 

4^ Have fun. Dating relationships can be a time to relax and enjoy yourself while doing activities that interest 
you. 

4- Learn how to get along with others. Dating builds social skills by helping you learn how to cooperate and 
be considerate of others. 

4- Bewith friends. Sharing activities, events, thoughts, and feelings is an important part of building friendship 
in a dating relationship. 

4 Learn gender roles. Dating relationships help you learn about men's roles and women's roles, and how 
women and men should act toward one another. 

^ Learn how to express affection. Everyone has a need for loving relationships in their lives and must learn 
how to express these feelings. Dating relationships can develop into more intimate relationships in which 
people give and receive love and affection. 

4 Choose a marriage partner. Not all dating relationships end in marriage, and dating itself may not be 
focused on choosing a partner, but most mate selection does occur through dating. Dating can help a couple 
gain a better understanding of each other before marriage. 

Dating can take a variety of forms, such as those identified in the chart below. Complete the chart by identifying 
the advantages and disadvantages of each form of dating. Share your responses with the class. 



Advantages 



Disadvantages 



Random Dating 



Group Dating 



Double Dating 



Single Dating 
(Going Steady) 



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i Forming One's Own Family 




Love 



Love or Infatuation? 

Infatuation 



A relationship based on love 
means. . . 

Knowing the person well 

Loving the person as a total personality 



Experiencing feelings of self-confidence, trust, 
and security 

Kindlier feelings toward other people 

Joy in many common interests and an ongoing 
sense of being alive when together 

Changes and growth in the relationship with an 
ongoing association, developing interests, and 
deepening feelings 

A willingness to face reality and tackle problems 
realistically 

A protective, maturing, caring concern for the 
beloved 

Reasonable and attainable daydreams 
Gaining ambition and looking to the future 



Idealization based on reality 

Facing problems frankly and attempting to solve 
them 

Physical attraction relatively small part of the 
relationship 

Physical expression of affection demonstrated 
later in the relationship 

Meaningful physical contact as well as 
pleasurable 

An enduring, relatively stable relationship 

Possible postponment'of marriage to allow 
growth in the relationship 



A relationship based on infatuation 
means. . . 

Love at first sight 

Being infatuated with one characteristic, blind to 
faults 

Feelings of guilt, insecurity, and frustration are 
frequent 

A tendency to be self-centered and restricted 

Frequent boredom, especially when there is no 
sexual excitement or social amusement 

Little change in the relationship with the passing 
of time 



Disregard of problems and barriers; idealization 
with little regard for reality 

Being overprotective and suffocating, discourag- 
ing independence 

Unreasonable daydreams 

Loss of ambition, appetite, and interest in 
everyday situations 

Idealization with no regard to reality 

Problems tend to be disregarded or glossed over 



Physical attraction is a largv: part of the relation- 
ship 

Physical expressions of affection start from 
beginning 

Pleasurable physical contact with no meaning 



Sudden changes in the relationship for no reason 
Having an urge to marry immediately 



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Seven Different Kinds of Intimacy 

There are at least seven different kinds of intimacy. The more of these types of intimacy 
people share, the closer their relationship will be. While it is unrealistic to think that a married 
couple would be intimate in all these ways, happily married couples share many of them. 



S4« 



Emotional 

Involves loving and 
supporting one another 




Religious 

Involves holding similar 
religious beliefs or 
sharing a sense of life's 
purpose and meaning 



Sexual or Physical 

Sharing mutually satisfying 
physical expression of love 
and affection 




Aesthetic 

Sharing forms of 
artistic expression 



Social 

Sharing the same friends 
and joining the same groups 





Recreational 

Enjoying sports or 
hobbies together 



Intellectual 

Talking about ideas and 
values, debating politics, 
or discussing literature 



ERIC 



Source: Conmc S?issc. Families Today. New York: Glencoc Division, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill 1994. 

147 




Forming One's Own Family 



Responsible and Irresponsible Intimacy 

In the chart below, list examples of responsible and irresponsible behaviors when 
expressing emotional and physical intimacy. 



Emotional Intimacy 



Responsible Behaviors 



Irresponsible Behaviors 



Physical Intimacy 
Responsible Behaviors Irresponsible Behaviors 



s 



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Personal Readiness for 
Family Formation 

How will you know when you are ready to marry? Think through the questions bel^ and add any 
others you think would be important to consider before deciding to form your owS^amily, What 
factors are reflected in the questions? 

1 . Am I relatively independent of my parents? 

2. Do I make decisions on the basis of carefully gathered facts, or do I tend to jump to conclusions 
and make impulsive decisions? 

3. Have I outgrown rebellion as a motive for choices? Can I be sure my decisions are based on 
careful conclusions about the wisest course of action rather than motivated by a wish to show that 
I can do as I please? 

4. Have I completed my education? 

5. Has my judgment stabilized as to the type of marriage partner I wanl? How long has it been since 
I considered someone very desirable who would not suit me now? Have I dated enough people 
to become acquainted with a variety of personalities? 

6. How well can I support myself now with no outside help? 

7. How well do I manage the money I earn? Do I run out of money and find that I don't know what 
happened to it? Or can I make and follow a budget? 

8. Have I found job security? How long have I held the same position? 

9. Am I old enough to undertake the responsibilities and obligations of being a husband/wife and 
a parent? Particularly, can I consistently sacrifice my own pleasures and wishes for the sake of 
others? 

10. Am I ready to take on the regular routine of a permanent job? Of housework? Cooking meals? 
Caring for babies or children? 

1 1 . If things go wrong, must I find someoneelse to blame or can I accept responsibility for my mistakes 
and do the best I can? 

1 2. Am I sufficiently flexible to make the adjustments that marriage requires? Can I include others 
in my plans and make satisfying compromises with in-laws and children as well as with my 
spouse? 

1 3. If I qualify on all these important points, am I sure I am ready to settle down? Do I still need time 
to be free to run around with my friends? Am I still interested in dating a variety of people? 



Family Relations 



m Forming One's Own Family 



Predicting Marital Happiness 

Can marriage success or failure be predicted? Not absolutely, of course. However, researchers have studied 
family life so much in the past few years that they have come up with a list of factors that are pretty good 
indicators of whether or not a marriage will be happy. The greater the number of favorable factors that are 
true for each partner, the greater their chance of finding marital happiness together. The greater the number 
of unfavorable factors that are true for each partner, the higher the likelihood of unhappiness and failure. 
Below is a list of some of these factors. 



Favorable Factors 

1 . Same cultural background 

2. Your parents were happily married 

3. You get along well with your parents 

4. Your parents disciplined you mildly but firmly 

5. You had a happy childhood 

6. You are usually a happy person 

7. You are emotionally mature 

8. You are ready to forgive 

9. You are responsible 

10. You are honest and trustworthy 

1 1 . You are a loving, giving person 

12. You feel your friend is easy to love 

13. You are satisfied with the amount of attention your friend 
shows toward you 

14. Your marriage will be based on mature love 

15. You are marrying for love 

16. You are not being pressured into marriage 

17. You are anxious to marry as soon as possible 

18. Your parents talked openly to you about sex 

19. Your parents approve of your friend 

20. You and'your friend both have several other friends 

21. You both have about the same amount of education 

22. You are about the same age 

23. You arc 23 years of age or older 

24. You have dated over a year 

25. You agree on most things 

26. You have a good relationship with your future in-laws 

27. You can talk with your friend about anything 

28. Your friend is appreciative of you 

29. You arc satisfied with your friend as he or she is 

30. Neither of you drinks too much 

3 1 . You like to do the same things 

32. You arc religious 

33. You share the same religious faith 

34. You agree on whether or not you want children someday 

35. You agree about family planning 

36. You both feel a loving home life is of major importance 

37. You share the same values 

38. You share common goals 

39. You will be financially independent 

40. You can accept living with the amount of money you or your 
spouse is likely to earn 

41. You feel sure that this is the person you want to marry 

42. You bring out the best in each other 

43. Having a happy, successful marriage is very important to you 
and you arc willing to work at it and make sacrifices for it 



Unfavorable Factors 

Different cultural and/or economic backgrounds 

Parents were unhappy or divorced 

You. have had much conflict with your family 

You were given little or no discipline or very harsh punishments 

Your childhood was unhappy 

You are often moody and unhappy 

You are emotionally immature 

You hold grudges 

You arc irresponsible 

You sometimes lie and can't always be trusted 
You are self-centered and withdrawn 
Your friend is often very unlovable 

You arc not satisfied with the amount of attention your friend 

shows toward you 
Your marriage will be based on infatuation 
You arc marrying to get out of the house, for money, because all 

your friends are and you don't want to be left out, or for some 

other reason 
A pregnancy forces the marriage 
You wish you could wait a while longer 
Sex was always hushed; a forbidden topic 
Your parents disapprove of your friend 
You and your friend arc loners without many other friends 
One of you has quite a bit more schooling than the other 
There is a marked difference in ages 
You are under the age of 20 
You have known each other for only a short time 
You quarrel frequently 

You have a poor relationship with your future in-laws 
There are some things the two of you can't talk about 
Your friend is often critical of you 

After marriage, you hope to change some things about him or her 
One or both of you drinks too much or too often 
Your minds arc seldom on the same track 
One or both of you do not practice any religion 
You are of different faiths 

One of you wants to have children, the other doesn't 
^ You disagree about family planning 
One of you does not consider it important 
Your values are different 
You want different things out of life 
You will be financially dependent on parents or someone else 
You will be unhappy unless you have more money 

You sometimes doubt if he or she is the right partner for you 
You bring out the worst in each other 

You have the attitude that "if it doesn't work out, you can always 
get a divorce" 



155 

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Relationships-Deeper Commitments 

In all stages of relationships, there comes a time to decide 
whether you want to make a deeper commitment to the other 
person. Whether it is deciding to go out for a secondtime, to go 
steady, or even to get married, you face important choices at all 
stages of relationships. 

A commitment is a pledge or promise on the part of each person 
that they are involved in the relationship together. It means that 
they are both willing to work on their future as a couple. They are 
both willing to share their life plans. Commitment is both to the 
other person and to the relationship they share. They are willing 
to admit to themselves and to others that there is more to them as 
a couple than there would be to each of them as separate 
individuals. 

Below are some questions to ask to determine whether or not a 
relationship is right for you and that the time is right to make a 
deeper commitment: 

Does this relationship make me feel good about myself? A healthy relationship makes you happy-at least 
most of the time. A healthy relationship doesn't keep hurting you or leaving you empty and confused. 

Does this relationship bring out the best in you and your partner? A healthy relationship encourages both 
partners to grow and to live fulfilling lives, both in the time they spend together and in their individual time. 

Are you both aware of the responsibilities involved in making a deeper commitment? A healthy 
relationship is realistic- you both know that a relationship takes work and you are willing to do your best. 

Is there mutual understanding of each other's values, goals, and expectations for marriage? 

Is there mutual acceptance of each other as a person with flaws and faults? 

Does the relationship make you feel worthwhile and valuable both to yourself and the other person ? Does 
it reinforce the other's self-esteem in the same way? 

Is the relationship one in which you feel natural and can be yourself? Or do you find yourself trying to 
make yourself over into the kind of person you think the other wants? 

Is the person someone you would like, admire, and enjoy, even if love were not present? Do you respect 
the other person? 

Is it a relationship that others recognize and approve? 

Do you share a number of interests, both socially and culturally? 

Do you have the tolerance and generosity necessary to be flexible in any interests you do not share? 

Do you have similar educational backgrounds? Are you relatively equal intellectually? 

Do you both want the same kind of life and home? 

Do you both have steady jobs and agree on major financial goals? 



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Family Relations 



Forming One's Own Family 




Desirable Qualities 

Below is a list of qualities people may consider important in a 
prospective life partner. Rank them according to the importance you 
give them in looking for a possible spouse. 

Ranking: 1 = Not important to me 

2 = Idon'tknow 

3 = Important 

4 = Very important to me 

Scoring: Count only the last two responses, 3 and 4, as positive 
responses. Score the whole class or group on each point. What are 
the most desirable qualities? What are the least important qualities? 
For boys? For girls? 



_ is athletic 
_is affectionate 

_will not take advantage of me sexually 

Js polite and courteous or outgoing 

js kind and considerate 

_has interests similar to mine 

Js fun to be with 

Js physically attractive 

_dresses well 

Js easy to talk to 

Js trustworthy 

Js thoughtful 

_has social class higher than mine 

Jikes my family 

Js liked by my family 

_has friends whom I admire 

Jikes my friends 

Js liked by my friends 

Joves me for myself 



_will be a good parent 
Js goal-oriented 
.believes in a close family life 
Js a religious and moral person 
_has a good career 
_has never been divorced 
Js financially independent 
Js wise and intelligent 
Js well educated 
_has good manners 
Js open and honest 
Js tolerant and forgiving 
_has power over others 
Js talented in many ways 
Js self-confident 
Js respected by others 
Js verbally articulate 
_comes from a similar 
background to mine 



Questions for Reflection 

1 . How many qualities did you check as being "very important?" 

2. Do you think you are being realistic in expecting to find these traits in a partner? Explain. 

3. In looking over those qualities you identified as **very important," was there any pattern to 
your choices? Were you more concerned about your future partner's personal traits, the 
relationship between the two of you, or your mate's relationships with others? 

4. What conclusions can you draw about your expectations for a future mate? 



ERLC 



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Forming One*s Own Family 



Auction Worksheet 

Below is a list of possible qualities you might want in a marriage partner. 
Read them and complete the first coluLin. You will have $ 1000 with which 
to bid for the qualities you would like in a marriage partner. As the auction 
proceeds, record the top bid for each item and who won the item. 




Qualities 



Amount You 
Would Like to Bid 



Top Bid 



Who Won Item 



Faithful 

Physically attractive 

Trustworthy 

Good cook 

Athletic 

Outgoing 

Intelligent 

Fun to be with 

Dresses well 

From a wealthy family 

Has a high status 

Good job 

Talented 

Affectionate 

Supportive 

Good listener 

Creative 

Religious 

Sense of humor 

From a close family 

Likes children 

Well educated 

Cares about others 

Self-confident 





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That's Your Job! 

Listed below are various responsibilities of the v. ork of the family. In 
the left hand column, indicate who in your family was responsible for 
that task. In the right hand column, indicate whether you believe the 
responsibility should be a man's role, a woman's role, or shared by 
both. 





Who does this in your present family? 

1, Put out the garbage 



Who will do this in your future family? 



2. Prepare meals 
. 3. Wash dishes 
. 4. Clean 

5. Express affection 

. 6. Make the bed 

. 7. Do the laundry 

_ 8. Shop for groceries 

. 9. Put gas in the car 

.10. Fix things that need repair ^ 

_1 1. Arrange social activities 

_12. Water the plants 

_1 3. Take care of the car 

^14. Pay the bills, write checks, and 
balance the checkbook 

_15. Change the light bulbs 

_16. Contact repair people when necessary 

_17. Manage conflict 

_18. Filethe.taxes 

_19. Mow the grass 

_20. Choose home furnishings 

_21. Make final decisions on important matters 

_22. Prepare a family budget 

_23. Discipline children 

_24. Play with children 

_25. Cire for children 

_26. Anange for activities for children 



'54 159 



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f Forming One's Own Family 



Marriage Contract 

As you think about your future family and the daily chores 
and household responsibilities you will have to do, what 
role responsibilities do you see you and your , spouse 
assuming? In the space below, write a contract to describe 
the responsibilities you believe are appropriate to each 
person' s role. Be specific about the types of tasks you will 
perform and the tasks you will expect your partner to be 
responsible for. 




My responsibility 



Spouse's responsibility 



1. Maintaining your living space 



2. Cleaning your living space 



3. Caring for children 



4. Managing finances 



5. Arranging transportation 



6. Arranging entertainment 
and social activities 



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155 

ICO 




P Forming One's Own Family 



Parenthood as a Personal Choice 



The questions below can be used to determine readiness for 
parenthood.. There are no right or wrong answers to these 
questions. Their purpose is to help those considering 
parenthood reflect on their readiness to be a responsible parent. 



1. How would parenthood affect my education and career? 




2. If my. career were fulfilling to me, would I want to take on the jjj^^^y^^^ 
responsibility of parenthood? WSli^ 

3. Would I be willing to give up the freedom of my social life to take on the responsibilities of 
caring for children? 

4. Would I be able to combine going to school and raising children at the same time? 

5. Have I developed a positive self-esteem? 

6. Can I supply the necessary financial support for raising children? 

7. Do I enjoy being with children? 

8. Would I like having my own children around all of the lime? 

9. Do I enjoy working with children on their own level, and would I be able to remain interested 
in the things they want to do? 

10. Is it easy for me to talk to children? 

11. Do I want to give children the love they need? 

12. Am I patient enough to deal with the all-day and all-night responsibility of caring for children? 

13. Would I be upset if my children needed time that I had planned for myself? 

14. Would I get angry and take things out on my children if I became upset over something that 
they might have done? 

15. Would I be able to help children leam right from wrong? 

16. Would I be able to show love to a child under all circumstances? 

17. When I spend time with children, am I calm and relaxed? 

18. Do I consider having children as limiting and confining? 

19. Do I like children? 



ERIC 



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f Forming One's Own Family 



What's It Like to Be a Parent? 

Interview at least three parents about the experience of 
parenting. Record your findings in the chart below. 

Parent #1 




Parent #2 



Parent #3 



1 . Why did you choose to 
have children? 



2. How did you decide how 
many children to have? 



3. What do you think are the 
most important qualities 
or skills of a good parent? 



4. What has been most 

rewarding (greatest joy) in 
being a parent? 



5. What has been the hardest 
part of being a parent? 



6. What advice would you 
give a young couple who 
is thinking about starting a 
family? 



7. When do you think a 
couple is ready for 
parenthood? 




8. What adjustments did you 
have to make after your 
first child arrived? 



i 



"1G2 



Family Relations 



Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



C CONTENT A A 
MODULE ^ J 



Module Overview 

Practical 

Problem: What should I do about building healthy family relationships? 

Competency 5.0.4: Analyze factors that build and maintain healthy family relationships 
Competency 

Builders: 5.0.4.1 Identify characteristics of families who strive to meet the needs of all family 
members 

5.0.4.2 Identify rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all family members 
5.0.43 Analyze implications of power and authority within relationships 
5.0.4.4 Analyze responsibility and ability of each family member to establish and 

communicate personal and family needs, values, and goals 
5.0.4.5 Identify strategies for making decisions as a family 
5.0.4.6 Develop family rituals and traditions that strengthen family relationships 
5.0.4.7 Develop a plan to assure adequate time for family activities 
5.0.4.8 Analyze changes that may occur in relationships over time 

Supporting 

Concepts: 1 . Characteristics and responsibilities of a healthy family 

2. Use of power in family relationships 

3. Making decisions as a family 

4. Family traditions and rituals 

5. Planning family activities 

6. Changes in relationships 



Teacher Background Information 

Rationale 

What do we mean by "healthy family relationships"? As we encounter changing social, economic, and 
historical conditions, the norms and expectations for family relationships undergo change. We must try to 
define healthy family relationships without restricting the definition to a particular kind of family or 
prejudging the possibility for healthy relationships in various family structures. One image that has been 
useful is viewing the family as the context in which one develops roots and wings. Healthy family 
relations promote a deep sense of connection, commitment, and caring. At the same time, they provide a 
context in which each family member's unique potential and individual growth is valued and promoted. 



159 

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Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



C CONTENT A ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



Many voices seem to be joining the cry that family life is under attack and that the future of American 
families is bleak. However, it is clear that families always have been and will continue to be under 
challenges to change and adapt. Contemporary scholars are focusing on those qualities that are associated 
with a family's ability to cope with stress and to promote the optimal development of the family mem- 
bers. This module provides an overview of some of the key factors that characterize strong families. 
Some of these--especially communication patterns, the ability to deal effectively with conflict and stress, 
and the ability to balance work and family roles and responsibilities-will be considered in greater depth in 
subsequent modules. 

From an ecological perspective, it is important to conceptualize family strengths in the context of other 
systems. One snust avoid the tendency to look for sources of family strengths solely in the resources that 
individuals bring to their family life. The quality of family life is intricately interwoven with the quality 
of the neighborhood, the school, the work place, the health care system, and other essential service and 
support systems in which the family members participate. 



Background 

Each family is unique and each family uses different terms and phrases to describe their strengths. None- 
theless, one line of research based on 30 different studies involving over 3,000 subjects in the United 
States and other countries has identified six major qualities of strong families (Stinnett & DeFrain, 1989). 
These qualities include: commitment; appreciation and affection; positive communication; time together; 
spiritual well-being; and the ability to cope with stress and crisis. A different research group identified 
very similar characteristics of strong families grouped into three dimensions: cohesion, adaptability, and 
communication (Olson et al., 1983). Families that have these qualities experience comparatively high 
levels of satisfaction in the relationship among the adults and in the quality of the parent-child relation- 
ship. They also describe their family life as "happy." 

Cohesion. Cohesion refers to a sense of being united, of being connected to one another as part of the 
same primary group, of sensing the interdependence in the fates of all family members. Cohesion 
includes the emotional and cognitive sense of commitment and the behavioral dimension of spending time 
together. Commitment is expressed by dependability, faithfulness, and a willingness to sacrifice for one 
another. Time together is expressed by spending good times together, choosing one another as compan- 
ions as compared to spending time with others, and enjoying one another*s company. Time together is 
especially important for children who see it as the most salient defining feature of a happy family. Time 
together doesn't have to be costly or highly planned. The critical feature is that the family members are 
psychologically available to one another while they are together. 

^Some researchers see cohesion as a curvilinear dimension with too little cohesiveaess and too much 
cohesiveness both being problematic. Families must find an optimal level of differentiation, a concept 
that refers to the family's mechanisms for regulating distance. Optimal differentiation includes the ability 
to establish the cohesion necessary to preserve a sense of group connection and the flexibility necessary to 
foster individuation of the members and response to change (Allison & Sabatelli, 1988; Bowen, 1978; 



ERLC 



160 1G4 



Building and Maintaining Healtiiy Family Relationsliips 




C CONTENT A \ 
MODULE ^ y 



Minuchin, 1974). Too little cohesiveness suggests a disinterest or neglect of family members. The 
people in the family are so absorbed in other activities or relationships that there is little time to build the 
sense of unity and commitment that are important for strong families. Too much cohesiveness suggests 
an overdependence, sometimes referred to as "enmeshment/' in which family members are not free to 
develop their individuality and do not become adaptively independent. 

Adaptability. Adaptability refers to the ability to make adjustments and modifications in response to 
changing conditions. These changing conditions include normative changes that take place as each 
family member matures; common life transitions such as starting school, changing jobs, moving from one 
town to another; changes in roles such as becoming a parent or grandparent, becoming a supervisor or 
manager at work, or accepting a leadership position in a club or religious organization; and changes that 
are a result of crisis such as the serious illness or death of a family member, a natural disaster, war, or 
famine. 

Thus adaptability includes the ability to cope with stress and crisis as well as the ability to cope with 
normative life changes. It usually includes a strong sense of spiritual well-being that sustains a positive 
outlook as family members experience difficulties and losses. As a result of this hopefulness or opti- 
mism, strong families find the opportunities or long-term good that comes with crisis. They pull together 
rather than drift apart or withdraw from one another in the face of threat. And they find that by working 
together they bring resources and a chance for new levels of achievement that they could not accomplish 
alone. 

Communication. Communication refers to the flow of information, opinions, emotional reactions, and 
ideas among the family members. Communication is both verbal and nonverbal; it can include expres- 
sions of support and expressions of disagreement; it includes both listening and speaking. Communica- 
tion is the fundamental process through which family members express their appreciation and affection 
for one another, the primary mechanism through which conflicts are expressed and problems are resolved, 
and the basic means through which family members organize their time together and plan for the future. 
In healthy families, the individuals talk to one another about most every thing-not just the big family 
decisions but many daily matters. And they seem to talk for fun, just as way to spend time together. 
For adolescents, one of the key factors in strong parent-child relationships is the feeling of being under- 
stood. And this happens primarily through frequent opportunities for interaction about many topics, 
especially school, career goals, matters of ethics, family relationships, and social problems (Hunter, 1985; 
Robertson & Simons, 1989). 

Ethnic Differences. Ethnic groups are groups of people who **share a unique social and cultural heritage 
that is passed on from generation to generation** (Mindel, Habenstein, & Wright, 1988, p. 5). In recent 
years, there has been increasing interest in the importance and vitality of ethnic group identity in Ameri- 
can family life. There are at least three reasons for this renewed interest. First, one's ethnic identity is 
typically learned first within one's family. Thus any understanding of the development of ethnic identity 
must take into account the way that ethnicity is socialized in the family. Second, much of the content of 
ethnic culture that is passed on from one generation to the next is taught within the family or encouraged 
as the family fosters more extended ethnic education. Thus, an understanding of diversity among families 



161 

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c 



Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



MODULE ^ J 



requires an analysis of how a family's unique lifestyle is shaped by its ethnic identity and the domains of 
family life upon which ethnicity has a bearing. Third, the traditional ethnic values that are endorsed 
within families lead to a new appreciation of areas of strength and special resources that help families 
cope and adapt to social, historical, and economic change. Areas of strength may relate to many facets of 
ethnicity including struggles that were overcome in the past, characteristics of kinship relationships, 
patterns of status and authority in the family, definitions of family roles, the particular values embraced 
by the ethnic group, and the ongoing need to cope with discrimination or prejudice against the group. 



Allison, M. D., & Sabatelli, R. M. (1988). Differentiation and individuation as mediators of identity and 
intimacy in adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Research, 3, 1-16. 

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aaronson. 

Hunter, F. T. (1985). Adolescents* perceptions of discussions with parents and friends. Developmental 
Psychology, 27, 433-440. 

Mindel, C. H., Habenstein, R. W., & Wright, R., Jr. (1988). Ethnic families in America, (3rd edition). 
New York: Elsevier. 

Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

Olson, D. H., McCubbin, H., Barnes, H., Larsen, A., Muxen, M., & Wilson, M. (1983). Families: what 
makes them work Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. 

Robertson, J. F., & Simons, R. L. (1989). Family factors, self-esteem, and adolescent depression. Journal 
of Marriage and the Family, 51, 125-138. 

Stinnett, N.,&DeFrain, J. (1989). The healthy family: Is it possible? The second handbook on parent 
education. New York: Academic Press. 

Stinnett, N., & DeFrain, J. (1986). Secrets of strong families, Boston: Little, Brown. 



References 



162 



Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



1. Character- 
istics and 
responsibilities 
of a healthy 
family 




Learning Activities 

View the overhead transparency or handout Six Secrets of Strong FamiUes 
(p. 174). As a class, identify examples of family behaviors that reflect each of the 
six areas. Create a display of large toy building blocks each with the name of a 
family strength. As the strengths are identified, build a tower with the blocks. 
Illustrate what would happen if any of the blocks were missing from the tower. 

Discussion Questions 

♦ Why is each of these areas important to building a strong family? 

♦ What would happen if any one of these areas was not present in a family? 

♦ How do these areas reflect the meaning of family? The functions of the family? 

In Family Relations Research Teams, choose one of the six areas of family 
strengths, research the meaning of that area, and create an exhibit and/or a presen- 
tation on that family strength for the classroom. Research methods might include 
any or all of the ideas below. Use a variety of media to develop your final exhibit 
or presentation. You might include videotapes of interviews with family mem- 
bers, art works, writings, plays or skits, case studies of families, or reports to 
express your meaning of this family strength. On the day(s) of the group presen- 
tations, invite guests to class such as school administrators, parents, or community 
members. After you view the exhibits or listen to the presentations of other 
groups, react in your journal. Reflect on the meaning of that area of family 
strength and ways that area has played or will play a role in your family or your 
future family. 

(1) Research on healthy families 

(2) Interviews of family members 

(3) Literature about families 

(4) Classroom resources such as textbooks and audiovisual materials 



ERIC 



Discussion Questions 

♦ What is the significance of the family strength you studied? 

♦ How will you go about developing these strengths in your future family? 

♦ Why is this particular strength important to individuals? Society? 



Teacher Note: The above project represents a performance task that is not only 
a learning activity, but an assessment opportunity as well. The students should 
be involved in assessing what they have learned through the completion of the 
exhibit or presentation. Before the project, work with students to identify 
criteria for assessment. Using the criteria developed in class, design a rubric for 
assessing the project. An example is given on Family Strengths Project 
Assessment Form (p. 175). 



JJ 



163 



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Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



Use your school librarian as a resource for identifying short stories about fami- 
lies, such as those listed below. Read the stories and complete Reviewing 
Literature About Families (p. 176) to determine which of the areas of family 
strength are present and which are not. 

(1) "I Sing the Body Electric" by Ray Bradbury 

(2) 'The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst 

(3) "A Visit to Grandmother" by William M. Kelley 

(4) "Why 1 Live at the P. O." by Eudora Welty 

Discussion Questions 

• In what ways do families demonstrate areas of family strengths? 

• Why does each family member have a responsibility to contribute to the 
strength of a healthy family? 

• What happens when a family member fails to adequately contribute ? How 
does this impact other family members? 

• Why is it important for family members to communicate their ::eeds, values, 
and goals to other family members? 

FHA/HERO: Invite a family counselor to class to discuss the diversity of 
families and the variety of ways that family strengths can take shape in different 
family settings. Explore the concept that no families are perfect, but strong 
families exhibit certain characteristics more consistently than troubled families. 

Strong families have a sense of purpose and direction, or a vision of what they 
would like their family to be like. Read the examples below and explain what is 
important to each family. Identify the consequences of these visions of family 
for the family members and society. Write an entry in your reflection journal that 
identifies words, phrases^ or descriptions that are part of your vision for your 
future family. Illustrate your vision with a collage, drawing, videotape, or other 
medium of expression. In pairs, share the representation of your vision for your 
future family. Display the representations in the classroom. 

(1) The Loving Family. We want our children to grow up with a firm sense of 
family, to enjoy the closeness and stability of being in a family so that when 
they're grown, they will want to have a loving relationship of their own. We 
spend time together as a family, having fun and learning about each other* 

(2) The Giving Family. We hope that our family sees that the most important 
thing is giving of yourselves to others and leaving the world a better place. 
We encourage each family member to share his or her talents with others, 
and we provide role models by volunteering. 

(3) The Nurturing Family. We want to encourage our family members' sense of 
curiosity and wonder. We want them to have time to explore the world and 
other cultures. 



164 



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C CONTENT A \ 
MQDtnLE ^ y 



(4) The Encouraging Family. We want to encourage family members to be 
independent, to use their own minds and be leaders. We help family mem- 
bers trust their own judgment. 

(5) The Achieving Family. We want family members to learn as much as they 
can. If they work hard enough, we believe our family members can do 
anything. We encourage children to tackle tasks with energy and enthusi- 
asm, and become lifelong learners. 

Source: A. Cassidy. The Happy Family: How to Make it Yours, Family Circle, 
February 2, 1993. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important for families to have a sense of purpose or direction? 

• How do these visions of family reflect the areas of family strengths? 

• How might these examples inspire your vision of your future family? 



Teacher Note: Depending on the needs of the students in your class, you may 
wish to add the activity below, which focuses on strengthening different types 
of families. This activity is identified as a cooperative learning activity, but 
could also be an Action Project. 



In Family Relations Research Teams, choose one of the types of families listed 
below and research specific strategies for strengthening relationships in that type 
of family. Identify challenges, needs, and resources unique to that type of family 
and how these impact on each area related to family strengths. Present your 
findings to the class. 

(1) Single parent families 

(2) Blended families 

(3) Extended families 

(4) Adoptive families 

(5) Foster families 

Action Project: Keep a journal recording evidence of family strengths in your 
own family or a family that you know well. Be sure to get permission to make 
and record your observations. After examining your record of observations, 
complete Assessing Family Strengths (p. 177 ). Share your findings with 
family members. If you have observed your own family, set goals for strength- 
ening your family in one of the six areas. Identify activities related to the goal 
and keep a record of your progress. 



ERIC 



165 



169 



[S 



Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



C CONTENT A ^ 
MODULE ^ y 



2. Use of power 
in family 
relationships 



h. Action Project: Select one or more of the activities below to strengthen your 
family or create your own idea for an activity that will contribute to strengthen- 
ing your family. Following your activity, interview family members to deter- 
mine the results of your actions. Record your findings in a written report. 

(1) Write a letter of appreciation to a family member for something they have 
done for you. 

(2) Buy an address and reminder book. Record birthdays, anniversaries, and 
special events of family members. Budget time to mail cards, write notes, or 
plan special dinners or celebrations. 

(3) Plan and carry out a family celebration. 

i. FHA/HERO: Design a place mat or a pamphlet to be distributed in a place such 
as a local restaurant, library, or community center. Feature the areas of family 
strengths and ways to go about strengthening family relationships. 

j. FHA/HERO: Hold a family night. Rent a movie that deals with commitment in 
families such as On Golden Pond, Fiddler on the Roof, or Our Town, and invite 
family members to watch the movie with you. Serve refreshments. Following 
the movie, lead a discussion about the importance of commitment to family life. 

a. Using resources, define power Watch television programs about families and 
record examples of situations in which power is used. Share your examples with 
the class and develop a chart that lists the situation in the first column, the person 
in the family who holds the power in that situation in the second column, and the 
consequences of the way power is used in that situation in the third column. 

Discussion Questions 

• Who holds the power in each of the examples you identified? Why does that 
person hold the power? 

• What are the short-term and long-term consequences of the way power is used 
in each situation? 

• How can power be both positive and negative? 

• How should power be used in strong families? 

b. Collect comic strips that illustrate the use of power in families. In cooperative 
learning groups, choose several of the comic strips as well as one of the case 
studies below. Explain how power is being used in each situation and the short- 
term and long-term consequences of the way power is being used. Share your 
findings with the class and discuss how the situations could be changed to result 
in more positive uses of power. 



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166 



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Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



[1 



r CONTENT A ^ 
V MODULE ^ J 



(1) Susan's family is making plans to go on vacation. Her father loves to go to 
Civil War battlefields but the rest of the family is getting tired of the same old 
thing. Susan would love to go to the beach. Her father claims that it is his 
money and he will make the decisions. 

(2) Rick, the youngest of the family of four, is not happy with anything his 
mother makes for dinner. Ever. Each night at the table he fusses and com- 
plains until his mother fixes him something he likes. 

(3) Mary enjoys being very active in after school projects. Her mother complains 
that Mary is never home, and that her involvement is an indication that Mary 
does not like being home. Mary is afraid she is hurting her mother's feelings. 
She is considering giving up the activities. 

(4) Bob wants to go out on Friday night with his friends but knows he has a 
family commitment the same night. He first approaches his mother and asks 
if he can miss his grandmother's birthday party and make his own plans. He 
is told no. Since he has failed with his mom, he goes to his stepfather know- 
ing he is less comfortable with saying no. 

Write a journal entry , in your reflection notebook about how you have experienced 
the use of power in family relationships. 

(1) How does it feel to experience power used in positive ways? Negative ways? 

(2) What were the consequences of the situations you experienced? 

(3) What goals do you have as to how power will be used in your future family? 

(4) What attitudes and skills will you need to carry out those goals? 



3. Making a. Complete My Family *s Problem-Solving Profile (p. 1 78). Make a list of the 

decisions as consequences of using reasoning and nonreasoning to make decisions in a family, 

a family Review the characteristics of reasoning ident ified on Comparing Reasoning and 

Nonreasoning (p. 27 ). 

Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important for families to use reasoning when making decisions? 

• What happens when family members make decisions independently without 
consulting other family members ? 

• How does using a reasoning approach contribute to being a strong family? 

b. In pairs, identify situations in which families would need to make a decision. 
Share these situations with the class. Identify the similarities and differences 
between making decisions as a family and making decisions as an individual. 
Read Guidelines for Family Meetings (p, 179). Explain how family meetings 
can be used as a tool to enhance family decision making. 



167 

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Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationshigs 



C CONTENT A "\ 
MODULE ^ y 



Discussion Questions 

• Are the guidelines identified on the handout guidelines you would use for 
family meetings in your present or future family? Why or why not? 

• Who should establish guidelines for family meetings? 

• How might the guidelines varyjrom family to family? 

c. In Family Relations Research Teams, choose a situation from Family Scenarios 
(p. 180). Choose family roles appropriate for the situation chosen and conduct a 
family meeting to resolve the problem. Use the Practical Family Problems 
Think Sheet (p. 29) to choose a solution that is best for the family. Present your 
decision to the class, justify your decision; and explain how the family meeting 
you conducted represented effective family decision making. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why should families hold meetings? 

• How can a family meeting help achieve a family *s purpose and goals? 

• How can a family meeting contribute to the well-being of all family members? 

• What are the most important guidelines in conducting a family meeting? 

d. FHA/HERO: Identify a situation in which the chapter may need to hold a 
meeting to make a decision. Explain how the chapter could use the rules of 
parliamentary procedure to allow all chapter members to have a say in making 
the decision. Conduct a meeting using the appropriate procedures. Compare 
your chapter meeting to a family meeting. Identify similarities and differences. 

e. Action Project: Conduct a meeting or series of meetings in your own family for 
the purpose of making a family decision. Record the events of the meetings and 
the outcomes of your family's decision. Interview family members to determine 
how they felt about the meeting. Summarize your observations in a written 
report. 



4. Family a. Use classroom resources to define traditions and rituals in relation to families 

traditions and to identify research about why traditions and rituals are important to 

and rituals strengthening families. Relate your definition and findings to the descriptors 

listed below. Create and list examples of various traditions and riiruals using 
personal experiences and observations of families. Design a bulletin board 
featuring the various activities that families do that represent traditions and 
rituals. 



(1) Represent habits or activities developed within a family 

(2) Contribute a sense of history or joy to a family 

(3) Are often part of holidays 



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168 



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Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 




C CONTENT A ^ 
MODULK ^ J 



(4) Involve all members of a family 

(5) Provide continuity to a family's year-to-year calendar 



Discussion Questions 

• How do traditions and rituals help to strengthen families? 

• Wltat are the consequences of not having traditions and rituals in families? 

• Which family traditions and rituals would you like to make part of your future 
family? 

b. Complete Precious Memories (p. 181). 



— 

Teacher Note: If many of your students' experiences are in troubled families, 
the Precious Memories (p. 181) activity may be inappropriate. The following 
activity focuses on creating family traditions and rituals for a future family and 
many be substituted for the previous activity. 



In cooperative learning groups, create a new tradition or ritual for a family. 
Describe the activity by outlining who will be involved, what will be done, when 
it will occur, where it will occur, how it could be planned, and why it would be 
important as a family tradition. Form new groups with each member having 
created a different tradition or ritual. Share the traditions and rituals developed 
and identify similarities and differences between them. 

FHA/HERO: Choose one or more ethnic grou*^s represented in your community 
and research family traditions and rituals typica d each group. Use library 
resources and interviews with family members. Create a school display high- 
lighting what you have learned entitled, "Families: A Strong Tradition." 

Action Project: Interview several people from different families about the 
traditions and rituals in their family. Record their favorite traditions and ask 
them to reflect on the changes that have occurred in the tradition over time. 
Record your findings in a written report and make a presentation to the class. 

Action Project: Plan and carry out a family tradition or ritual activity in your 
family. Use the planning process to plan the details of the activity. Keep a 
journal of the your activities, including a log of your time. Following the activ- 
ity, interview family members to determine their reaction to the traditions or 
ritual experience. Summarize in a written report. 



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Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



C CONTENT A \ 
MODULE ^ y 



5. Planning 
family 
activities 



g. FHA/HERO: Develop a list of rituals involved in the FHA/HERO organization, 
such as the installation ceremony, rewards banquet, special recurring events at 
Regional Rally or State Conference. Discuss the significance of each tradition or 
ritual. 

h. Action Project: Develop a calendar for use by family members that lists tradi- 
tional holidays and includes a record of family birthdays, holidays, family nights, 
and other special family events. 

a. Complete Things I Like To Do (p. 182). In pairs, share activities that you enjoy 
and the positive influence of spending time together with your family doing the 
things that you enjoy. 

b. In small groups, research family activities available in your community. Choose 
one of the categories of activities below and create a display of possible activities 
in that category. Provide cost, if applicable, and names, addresses, and phone 
numbers of community resources related to that activity. 



( 1 ) Low cost activities to do at home 

(2) Low cost entertainment ideas 

(3) Sports or physical activities 

(4) One-day trips 

(5) Educational activities 



■// 

Teacher Note: Modify the categories of family activities in the above activity 
to reflect the cultural and socioeconomic diversity in your school community. 



5^ 



In Family Relations Research Teams, choose a specific simulated family situa- 
tion for your group (use family situations used in previous learning activities or 
create a new family situation). As a simulated family, use the planning process 
to develop a plan to spend time together as a family. Chart activities you believe 
your simulated family would enjoy and a plan for accomplishing those activities 
together. Share your plan with the class. 



Discussion Questions 

• What are the short-term and long-term consequences of spending time with 
family members ? 

• Why is it sometimes difficult for families to find time to spend together? 

• What are some of the most logical times families could spend together? 

• Which types of activities take a lot of planning? Very little planning? Why? 

• What skills do you need to plan and spend time together as a family ? 



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170 



Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 




C CONTENT A A 
MODULE ^ y 



6. Changes in 
relationships 



a. Read the children's story, I'll Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch. Discuss the 
differences in family relationships over the life cycle. Identify ways that the 
roles the characters play in this story relate to your own life and the life of your 
family members. 

' Discussion Questions 

• What roles do the characters play in the story? 

• How do the roles change over time? 

• What responsibilities do you feel to maintain family relationships as you grow 
older? 

• What skills do you need to cope with these changes in family relationships? 

h. In small groups, choose two concurrent stages of the family life cycle and explain 
how family roles and relationships might be similar and different between the 
two stages. Write your responses on a large piece of newsprint. Post the re- 
sponses of all groups around the classroom. 

Discussion Questions 

• Which family life cycle stages seem to reflect the most changes? Least 
changes? Why? 

• How can families be prepared for these changes? 

• What other family events or experiences might cause change in family roles 
and relationships? 

c. Gather information about the year in which you were bom, such as news' head- 
lines, names of elected officials, popular songs, television shows or movies, and 
community characteristics. Display in the classroom. Explain how things have 
changed for your family since you were bom. 

Discussion Questions 

• How has the world changed since you were born? 

• How have these changes impacted family roles and relationships? 

• How have the relationships in your family changed since you were bom? 



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17 D 




Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



MODULE *» J 

Assessment 

Paper and Pencil 

1 . Identify at least three characteristics of families who strive to meet the needs of all family members. 

2. Given simulated situations, identify rights, responsibilities, and expectations of each family member. 

3. Given case studies, analyze implications of power and authority within relationships by describing the 
consequences of the way power and authority is used in each situation. 

4. Given simulated family situations, analyze the responsibility and ability of each family member to 
establish and communicate personal and family needs, values, and goals. 

5. Identify at least three strategies for making decisions as a family. 

6. Develop at least three family rituals and traditions that strengthen family relationships. 

7. Given simulated family situations, develop a plan to assure adequate time for family activities. 

8. Analyze changes that may occur in relationships over time by describing changes in relation to the 
family life cycle. 

Classroom Experiences 

1 . In cooperative learning groups, choose one of the areas of family strengths and research the meaning 
of that strength. Create ai5 exhibit or presentation on that family strength for the classroom. 

2. Read short stories and analyze each story to determine which of the six areas of family strengths are 
present and which are not. 

3. In cooperative learning groups, choose comic strips and case studies. Explain the type of power 
being used in each situation and the short-term and long-term consequences of the way power is 
being used. Share your findings with the class and discuss how the situations could be changed to 
result in more positive uses of power. 

4. In cooperative learning groups, choose a family situation and assign family roles appropriate for the 
situation. Conduct a family meeting to resolve the problem. Use the practical problem-solving 
process to choose a solution that is best for the family. Present your decision to the class, justify your 
decision, and explain how the family meeting you conducted represented effective family decision 
making. 



176 

172 



Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



5. 




C CONTENT A A 
MODULE ^ y 



In cooperative learning groups, create a new tradition or ritual for a family. Describe the activity by 
outlining who will be involved, what will be done, when it will occur, where it will occur, how it 
could be planned, and why it would be important as a family tradition. 

In small groups, research family activities available in your community. Create a display of possible 
activities. Provide cost, if applicable, and names, addresses, and phone numbers of community 
resources related to that activity. 

In cooperative learning groups, choose a specific simulated family situation for your group. As a 
simulated family, use the planning process to develop a plan to spend time together as a family. 
Chart activities you believe your simulated family would enjoy, and a plan for accomplishing those 
activities together. Share your plan with the class. 



Application to Real-life Settings 



1 . Select activities to strengthen your family. Following your activities, interview family members to 
determine the results of your actions. Record your findings in a written report. 

2. Conduct a meeting or series of meetings in your own family for the purpose of making a family 
decision. Record the events of the meetings and the outcomes of your family's decision. Interview 
family members to determine how they felt about the meeting. Summarize your observations in a 
written report. 

3. Interview several people from different families about the traditions and rituals in their family. . 
Record their favorite traditions and ask them to reflect on the changes that have occurred in the 
traditions over time. Record your findings in a written report and make a presentation to the class. 

4. Plan and carry out a family tradition or ritual activity in your family. Use the planning process to 
plan the details of the activity. Keep a journal of the your activities, including a log of your time. 
Following the activity, interview family members to determine their reaction to the tradition or ritual 
experience. Summarize in a written report. 



ERLC 



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Family Relations 



i Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



a 



Six Secrets of Strong Families 



Appreciation 

Caring for self and others ^ 
Respecting privacy ^ 
Maintaining positive attitudes, ^ 

complimenls» and rewards f 
Enjoying the environment f 



'Time Together \ 

Balancing quality with ^ 

quantity time 1 
Sharing leisure^ fun» 

and humor 
Helping others through role 

modeling 
Recognizing individual and 

family needs 



Communication 

Expressing feelings of 

support, love» and 

affection 
Building communication 

skills, including listening 
Establishing emotional 

intimacy 
Sharing information 



Coping with Crisis 

Sharing and managing 

resources ^ 
Resolving problems through ^ 

decision making ^ 
Supporting family 0 

members f 
Fostering conflict / 
resolutions / 



Commitment 



Sharing roles and responsibilities ^ 
Establishing and maintaining priorities \ 
Establishing traditions and rituals \ 
Maintaining relationships \ 



Spiritual Wellness 

Sharing values, goals, 

and priorities 
Fostering wellness, safety, 

and nutrition 
Developing a sense of 
^ morality 
^ Growing spirituality/ 
\ self-esteem 

\ 
\ 
\ 



ERIC 



Source: Dr. Nickolas Stinnett, University of Alabama, and Dr. John DeFrain, University of Nebraska. 

174 



178 



Family Relations ' 



Building and Maintaining Healtiiy Family Relationships 



f N 

Family Strengths Project Assessment Form 



Name 




Names of Other Group Members . 



For each of the criteria listed below, assign a value based on how your group met that criteria in the 
Family Strengths Project. Compare your assessment with those of other group members. Decide on 
a final assessment rating as a group. On the back of this page, answer the following questions. 

• V^hat did we learn from this project? 

• How will what we learned influence the actions we take as family members? 



Criteria 



References 
Rating 

X5=. 



Used a wide variety of 
authoritative sources and 
cited them accurately. 
Sources have been evalu- 
ated as highly valid and 
reliable. 



Assessment Ratings 

2 

A few authoritative sources, 
cited with some degree of 
accuracy. So;nc sources have 
been evaluated as highly valid 
and reliable. 



Did not use a variety of 
authoritative sources. 
Reliability of some 
sources was question- 
able. 



Substance 

Rating 

X5=. 



Included substantive, fac- 
tual information about an 
area of family strength. 
Material was reflective, 
thoughtful, and showed 
depth. 



Most information was sub- 
stantive and factual Material 
was somewhat reflective and 
thoughtful, but could be 
improved. 



Lacked factual, sub- 
stantive information. 
Material showed little 
depth. 



Originality 

Rating 
X5=. 



A variety of original 
research methods used. 
Material presented in cre- 
ative ways using a variety 
of media. 



A few original research meth- 
ods used. Material presented 
in somewhat creative ways 
but could be improved. 



No variety in research 
methods used. Lack of 
creativity in presenta- 
tion. 



Cooperation 

Rating 

X5=_ 



Committed to theachieve- 
menl of group goals. Each 
member worked to 
achieve goals. Assessed 
progress and adjusted ac- 
cordingly. 



Completed assignment as a 
result of the efforts of a few 
group members. Lacked 
interaction between group 
members. Lacked group 
cohesion. 



No commitment to 
.group goals. Task left 
unfinished. Did not 
execute duties of as- 
signed role. 



. Total Points (60 possible) 




175 



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Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 











1 Reviewing Literature About Families ■ 


! Read three short stories and record the title and author of each short stor>'. Beside each of the six . 
! family strengths listed in the chart below, write an example of how that strength was demonstrated . 
5 in the stories you read. Then given an example of how that trait was neglected in a family situation . 

■ in one of the stories you read. In the final column, identify the short-term and long-term effects of - 

■ the presence or absence of that irait in the stories. . 


i Short Story Title 


Author 1 


1 Shgrt Story Title 


Author 1 


1 Short Story Title 


Author 1 




Examples 


Effects 1 


■ I. Commitment 






■ 2. Appreciation 






. 3. Time Together 






2 4. Communication 






■ 5. Spiritual Well-Being 






■ 6. Coping with Stress 

■ and Crisis 













176 



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I Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



Assessing Family Strengths 

Place a check mark (/) beside those behaviors that you observe under each category of family 
strengths. Then assign an overall rating to each of the six areas. 




Appreciation and Affection 

Kindness 

Caring for each other 

Respect for each other 

Respect for individuality 

^Tolerance 

^Physical and emotional affection 



^Playfulness 

Humor 

^Put-downs and sarcasm are rare 

Family members are committed to helping 

enhance each other's self esteem 

A feeling of security 

Safety 

^People genuinely like each other, and like being 

with each other 
Overall rating of appreciation and affection in the 
family: 



Spiritual Well-Being 

Happiness 

^Optimism 

Hope 

Faith 

Mental health 

A functional religion or set of shared 

ethical values that guides family 
members through life's challenges 

Oneness with God 

Oneness with the worid 

^Oneness with humankind 

Supportive extended family members 

A network of genuine family friends 

Involvement in the community, and support 

from the community 
Overall rating of spiritual well-being in the family: 



Time Together 

Good things take time, and we take time to be 

with each other in our family 

^We share quality time, and in ^reat quantity 

Enjoying each other's company 

Serendipitous (unplanned, spontaneous) good 

times 

^Simple, inexpensive good times 



Overall rating of the time we share together in the 
family: 



The Ability to Cope with Stress and Crisis 

Sharing both resources and feelings 

Understanding each other 

Helping each other 

Forgiveness 

Seeing a crisis as both a challenge and an 

opportunity 

Growing through crises together 

Humor 

^Patience 

^Resilience (the ability to "hang in there") 



Overall rating of the family's ability to cope with stress 
and crisis: 



Positive Communication 

Open, straightforward 

Discussion rather than lectures 

Generally positive 

Cooperative, not competitive 

Non -blaming 

A few squabbles occur, but generally harmonious 

^Consensus building, rather than winners and 

losers 
Compromise 

Agreeing to disagree on occasion 

Acceptance of the notion that differences can be a^ 

strength in the family, and that everyone does not 

have to be the same 
Overall rating of positive communication in the 
family: 



Commitment 

Trust 
.Honesty 
.Dependability 
.Fidelity 
.Faithfulness 
_"Wc arc one'' 
.Sacrifice 
.Sharing 



Overall rating of c<ypmitmcnt in the family:. 



Source: Dr. Nickolas Stinnett, University of Alabama, and Dr. John DcFrain, University of Nebraska. 



177 



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I Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



My Family Problem-Solving Profile 

What does your family do when faced with a practical problem? Place a check mark (/) in front of those 
items that describe the way your family solves problems. 

1. We take time to talk together and think through problems before deciding on a solution. 

2. We try not to think about problems, but just do the first thing that comes to mind when solving 

them. 

3. We consider the context of the problem, several choices, and the consequences of those choices 

before solving the problem. 

4. We usually ignore problems and hope they go away. 

5. We try to get accurate, reliabl<; information before solving the problem. 

6. When solving problems, we usimlly just do whatever we feel like, without consulting other 

members of the family. 

7, We consider the values involved in the situation and the consequences of those values for 

ourselves and others. 

8. We consider the values, needs, and feelings of everyone involved in the problem before choosing 

a solution. 

9. We choose solutions that have the most positive consequences for ourselves and others. 

10. We choose solutions that promote the well-being of ourselves and others. 

11. We choose solutions that are workable for the short-term and long-term situations. 



Based on your responses to the above items, decide which of the following problem-solving profiles best 
describes your family's approach: 



Problem-Solving Profile A: A Nonreasoning Approach 

A nonreasoning approach can take several forms. Nonreasoners might avoid or ignore problems. Other 
nonreasoning approaches include blindly accepting a solution, choosing a solution on impulse, choosing a 
solution out of habit, or solving the problem just like others have solved it. Item 2, 4, and 6 reflect a 
nonreasoning approach. 



Problem-Solving Profile B: A Reasoning Approach 

A reasoning approach means giving the problem some careful thought as a family. Reasoners usually 
consider several alternatives and the consequences of those alternatives. The reasoning approach includes 
using factual information and value information to solve the problem. The final solution is justified with 
criteria, and good reasons are given for the choice. Items 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 1 1 reflect a reasoning 
approach. 

What would your family need to change about their problem-solving behavior to make the best decisions for 
yourselves and others? Write three goals to help your family become better problem solvers. 

1. 



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1S2 



Family Relations 



Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



Guidelines for Family Meetings 



Strong families make decisions together. Family meetings can be used to make 
decisions about problems, figure out how to share family responsibilities, or to plan 
family activities. Family meetings can be also be used to renew commitment to the 
family. Ask, "How are we doing as a family? What needs to be changed?" 



Some possible guidelines for family meetings. . . 

^^^^ 

# Set a regularly scheduled time for family meetings, fj^Et 
preferably when ail family members can at nd. 



# Don't let fanaily meetings go too long. For a family with 
small children, meetings should be about 20 to 30 minutes in 
length. If most children in the family are older, about 1 hour. 

# Share meeting responsibilities, letting different family members be the 
meeting chairperson. 



# Keep some type of record of your meetings on a family 
calendar or in a notebook. Record your plans of action and 
post them as a reminder. 




# Allow family members to put items they wish to discuss on the 
agenda. 



# Though these sessions are a great time to problem solve, share 
schedules, or decide how to get household tasks done, have som.e fun, 
too. Plan a family outing or vacation. 

# Encourage all family members to participate. 

# Use good conmiunication skills. / \ 

( • • ) 

# Always end with something that the family enjoys, like a V \^ J 
family hug, a game that includes family members, or a 

bowl of popcorn enjoyed together. 



ERIC 



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183 




Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 



Family Scenarios 




Tina Traveler has been offered another promotion. To accept the new position, she would have to 
move her family from Akron, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia. This would be the twelfth move for Ms. 
Traveler and her husband in their 18 years of marriage. They have three boys, Blake, 12; David, 14; 
and Randy, 7. The oldest of their three children, Blake, has already attended eight different schools. 
The boys feel that every time they get settled in a school, it's time to move again. Only the seven- 
year-old son is excited about moving to a new place. The Travelers depend on Tina's salary and she 
feels refusing the promotion might jeopardize her job. What should the Travelers do? 



Grandpa Wilson has suffered a stroke that has made it impossible for him to live alone. Tom and 
Wilson have three small children and have just moved into a three-bedroom two-story home about 
120 miles away. Grandpa Wilson has a small savings. Tom and Sally have very little savings after 
using all their extra money on a down payment for the house. What, will the Wilsons do? 



Thelma is 2 1 and has just lost her job. She has asked to move back in with her mother, who is divorced 
and her two sisters, both teenagers still in high school. Recently her mother moved to a smaller 
apartment and space is limited. What should Thelma's family do? 



The Thackerys are a family of three: an eight-year-old boy, a twelve year-old-girl, and their father. 
Mr. Thackery just received a bonus at work and he feels it is enough for the three of them to take a 
vacation for a week this summer. What should the Thackerys do for the vacation? 



Marty and his wife have just married. She has two teenage girls from a previous marriage. Marty is 
just getting to know them. Marty has been used to living in a small apartment by himself and is a bit 
overwhelmed about sharing a house with his wife and two teenage stepdaughters. Marty ' s wife would 
like for the family to develop a plan to share household responsibilities. How should Marty's family 
develop this plan? 







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184 



^^^^^^^^^P Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 

1 Precious Memories I 

! In the space below, record two memories of family traditions you have experienced in your family. | 
! Attach pictures or momentos that recorded the experience. Interview other family members who | 

2 were present and record their impressions oi that tradition, tixpiain wny mai cAj^citcuvc wac> ^ 
! important to your family. | 


g Example 


Your Impression 


Impression of | 
other Family Members | 








1 Example 


Your Impression 


Impression of 1 
Other Family Members i 









181 

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Family Relations 



f Building and Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships 






Things I Like To Do 



List 1 5 of your favorite activities and write the names of family members at the top of each column. Place 
a check mark (/) in the column under family members' names to indicate which family members enjoy 
each of the activities you have identified. Place a (*) beside those items that are free or low cost. 



■ Activity 


Family 
Member: 


Family 
Member: 


Family ■ 
Member: | 


■ 1. 








■ ^' 








m J. 






■ 


■ 4. 








1 ^* 








■ o. 








1 7 








■ 8. 








! 9 








1 10. 








1 








1 12. 








■ 13. 
















! 15. 









Based on the above information, write three activities you and your family might enjoy doing together. 



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186 




Developing Family Comnmnication Patterns 



Module Overview 




C CONTENT c ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



Practical 
Problem: 



What should I do about family communication? 
Competency 5.0.5: Develop communication patterns that enhance family relationships 



Competency 
BuUders: 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



5.0.5.1 Recognize importance of interpersonal communication skills in family life 
5.0.5.2 Distinguish between effective and ineffective communication in families 
5.0.5.3 Identi^ barriers to communication in families 

5.0.5.4 Recognize developmental and individual differences in communication skills 

. among family members 
5.0.5.5 Practice communication skills (including listening and questioning) that 

encourage constructive family interaction 
5.0.5.6. Respect rights, feelings, and needs of family members 
5.0.5.7 Recognize^ appropriate times, settings, and circumstances to communicate with 
family members 



1 . Importance of communication in family life 

2. Effective and ineffective communication 

3. Constructive communication strategies 

4. Barriers to communication 

5. Developmental and individual differences in communication 

6. Appropriate times, settings, and circumstances for communication 



Teacher Background Information 

Rationale 

Effective communication is one of the major areas identified as a characteristic of strong families 
(Stinnett & DeFrain, 1989). Families are interactive groups that form bonds of affection, mutual regard, 
and commitment largely through communication. The way individual members of families come to 
define themselves and the way they feel about other members of the family emerge largely from the way 
they perceive and interpret the content and tone of interactions directed to them and about them. 

The capacity for symbolic communication among humans appears to be genetically based. At the same 
time, communication is, by its vary nature, a social behavior, one that requires stimulation and support 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



C CONTENT ff "\ 
MODULE ^ J 



from others. It provides a sense of connection. Good communication seems necessary to maintaining 
positive mental health-as it plays such a key role in establishing and maintaining intimate relations, 
expressing personal thoughts and feelings so they can be understood by others, and identifying and resolv- 
ing conflicts. Communicative competence can be enhanced through direct teaching as well as by observa- 
tion and imitation. Much of the educative process is, in one way or another, a process of enhancing 
communication-identifying new concepts, giving words to ideas, linking ideas into broader categories, 
evaluating and analyzing information, and developing communicative skills such as speaking, reading, and 
listening. Thus, we have every reason to be optimistic that family members can develop new strategies to 
improve their communication and thereby enhance the quality of their relationships. 



Background 

The meaning of effective communication. Communication means the transmission or interchange of 
thoughts, feelings, opinions, and information between a sender and a receiver. Communication can take 
place through a variety of verbal and nonverbal channels including words, facial expressions, gestures, 
tone of voice, written messages, signs, and symbols. Communicative competence or effective communica- 
tion can be defined as the clarity with which the sender conveys the message so that the receiver accurately 
understands the intended meaning. In face-to-face communication, there are many opportunities to deter- 
mine whether the message was accurately interpreted. The receiver may say, "What did you say?** or give 
a puzzled look. Then the sender may try again, rephrasing the message, repeating it more slowly, or more 
loudly. 

The development of communicative competence. The process of learning to be an effective communica- 
tion partner begins in infancy. Observations of mothers and their infants show that among positively 
attached dyads, the mother and infant develop a coordinated cycle of interactions. These cycles show 
patterns of engagement when mothers and infants are involved in the same type of behavior, such as 
playing, cooing, smiling, or fussing and comforting. In addition, the mothers seem to be sensitive to cycles 
of attention and withdrawal. When the infant is alert and paying attention to the mother, the mother is 
involved and reciprocates the infant's behaviors. But when the infant shows signs of fatigue and with- 
draws from the interaction, the mother also withdraws, allowing the baby to rest before engaging in a new 
interaction. Over time, communication between mothers and their infants becomes increasingly coordi- 
nated. When the interaction falls into a phase of mismatch, where, for example, the mother is playful but 
the baby is fussy, the mother knows how to repair the interaction, by either withdrawing, or trying to 
soothe and comfort the baby. Thus babies and their mothers cycle through frequent points of coordination 
followed by effective efforts at repair or rest. Over time, in this context babies learn what it feels like to be 
engaged in shared "conversations'* that are satisfying, and they become hopeful that failed communications 
can be repaired (Tronick & Cohn, 1989; Rutter, 1990). 

Language learning takes place within the social environment of the family (Snow. 1984). First woixls are 
often utterances that would not be found in the dictionary, but that have shared meaiMng between an infant 
and a caregiver. These single word utterances accompanied by certain gestures, actions, vocal intonations, 
or emotions are called holophrases. When the baby says, "Ba ba,** while pointing to the refrigerator, she 



184 

188 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 




C CONTENT ff ^ 
MODULE ^ J 

means "juice." But when she says, "Ba ba " in a whining voice while lying in bed, she means that she 
warns her pacifier. The motivation to increase one's vocabulary and to engage in vocal speech is inti- 
mately linked to the realization that this is an effective means of getting one's needs met. 

As language learning continues, parents and older siblings play a critical part in expanding a child's 
vocabulary, exposing the child to the unique expressions and sounds of the spoken language, and engag- 
ing the child in conversations as a communication partner. Numerous studies have found that children's 
social and intellectual development are fostered when they have many opportunities to engage in conver- 
sation with live, interactive language partners (White, Kaban, & Attanucci, 1979; Bates, Bretherton, & 
Snyder, 1988). 

Just as communication in infancy involves coordination, so communication with toddlers and preschool- 
ers involves a process of mutual regulation sometimes called scaffolding (Nelson, 1981). Children try to 
match the verbal expressions used by adults by imitating their words and tone of voice. At the same time, 
caregivers try to understand the young child's expressions and advance these expressions. They may 
repeat a child's expressions to make sure they understand. They may ask the child to elaborate on the 
expression-"Oh, that is a pretty picture. Tell me more about it." Or they may elaborate on the expression 
themselves— Tes, I see the dog. He has a bright black coat and his tail is wagging very fast." All these 
strategies help children expand their communicative competence by making their expressions clearer, 
adding to their vocabulary, or learning new ways to engage in continuing conversations. 

Most parents do not interact with children primarily for the purpose of teaching them language. Lan- 
guage is a cultural tool, a means for socializing and educating children; it is one of the most powerful 
cultural inventions for creating a sense of group identity and for passing on the mythology, wisdom, and 
values of the cultuic from one generation to the next. Language is a part of the psychosocial environ- 
ment. Competence in the use of language solidifies the young child's membership in the immediate 
family and in the larger cultural group (Rogoff & Morelli, 1989). Beyond the formal elements of vocabu- 
lary, grammar, reading, and writing, language development plays a critical role in subsequent social and 
emotional development. It is primarily through the quality of one's spoken language that one achieves 
the levels of disclosure that sustain significant personal relationships. Lanjguage also serves as a mecha- 
nism for resolving conflicts and for building a sense of cohesiveness within groups, whether of friends, 
coworkers, or family members (Newman & Newman, 1995). 

The family communication environment Most families can be characterized by their communicative 
environment. This environment is established by the quantity and quality of interactions that take place 
between adults in the family and by the stated or unstated rules that govern interactions. These rules often 
include how open or closed the family members are about expressing feelings, how they express affection 
and support for one another, how much freedom for disagreement is allowed between the adults and 
between adults and children (Barnes & Olson, 1 985). 

Marriage partners who have a high level of satisfaction in their relationship typically report frequent, 
pleasurable interactions and a high degree of disclosure. Emotional expressiveness, especially among 
husbands, and the lack of ambivalence about expressing one's feelings are an important element in the 

O 185 . ^ ^ 

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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



C 



CONTENT 
MODULE 



communication process, particularly among white, middle-class American families (King, 1993). In 
contrast, a decline in pleasurable interactions and an absence of communication of any kind, even con- 
flicts, are associated with a high probability of divorce (NoUer, 1980), 

Differences in communication style between men and women. Men and women typically view the 
communicative process differently. In one analysis, four types of communicative styles between hus- 
bands and wives were described: 

♦ Conventional interactions that gloss over issues. Partners maintain the interaction but do not 
express much emotional commitment or explore the other person's views, 

♦ Controlling interactions that express the person's views quite cleariy but do not take the other 
person's perspective into account. 

♦ Speculative interactions that are guarded. Partr. irs explore the other person's point of view but do 
not fully reveal their own position. 

♦ Contactful interactions that are open to the other person's point of view and also clearly express the 
speaker's own position. 

Husbands and wives agreed that the contactful style was most desirable and the controlling style least 
desirable. However, wives preferred fewer controlling interactions from their husbands than the husbands 
preferred for themselves. Wives also preferred more contactful interactions from their husbands than 
their husbands preferred for themselves. Wives perceived their husbands as being more conventional, 
more controlling, and less contactful than they saw themselves. In general, wives expressed the view that 
their husbands were less likely to use the modes of interaction that they most preferred and more likely to 
use the modes of interaction they least preferred. Husbands did not express these same dissatisfactions 
about their wives' styles of communication (Hawkins, Weisberg, & Ray, 1980). 

Other research on couple communication finds that wives tend to want greater levels of disclosure and 
emotional expression in their marriage than their husbands who tend to be satisfied with the level of 
intimacy in their communications. This difference in the desire for and competence in verbal expressions 
of intimacy between men and women is cleariy linked to differences in socialization practices for males 
and females. Although it is somewhat of an overgeneralization, the study of men and women in relation- 
ships suggests that women are more concerned with establishing intimacy and closeness whereas men are 
concerned with preserving independence and status (Tannen, 1990). Women tend to be more aware of 
their feelings and how to express them. They use communications about feelings to help build connec- 
tions with others, to monitor how others are reacting to them, and to maintain positive links in relation- 
ships. Men tend to be socialized to ignore their feelings and to restrict communication about feelings. 
They are more likely to convey their affection and support through actions, like buying a gift, doing a 
favor, and, especially through sexually intimate actions (Cancian, 1985; Rubin, 1983). It takes work for 
couples to establish a level of communication in which the partners both feel adequate emotional close- 
ness and mutual validation. 

Barriers to effective communication. Many families find it difficult to sustain effective communication. 
In families that communicate positively, individuals take time to talk to one another. When family 
members are so distracted or busy with other responsibilities that they do not have time to talk, it is 



186 

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Developing Family Communication Patterns 




C 



CONTENT c ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



difficult to experience effective communication. This seems like a simple problem. However, many 
adolescents report that they have few moments of unstructured conversation with their parents. The 
parents may be working, the adolescents have many activities and responsibilities after school, and, in 
fact, there may be only a few waking hours each day when all the members of the family are in the house 
at the same time. 

Positive communication involves conveying respect and interest in one another. Some families have 
difficulty in this area. Their interactions are sarcastic or destructive. Family niembers continuously 
criticize or undercut one another. In some families, one person in particular becomes the target or scape- 
goat, always being blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family. In some families, individuals 
send mixed or double messages that convey contradictory information. A father may say he is very 
interested in hearing his son's composition, but then pick up a magazine and start reading it while the son 
is reading the composition aloud. A husband seems to be feeling very hurt and disappointed, but when 
his wife asks what is bothering him he says, "Nothing." 

Families who experience positive communication do not always agree with one another. In fact, families 
that promote the optimal development of each person are likely to experience times when family mem- 
bers have different points of view and disagree. However, these families understand that there is an 
appropriate role for conflict and that it is not necessary or healthy to hide one's differences. When 
families have a spoken or unspoken rule against expressing anger or differences, many of these differ- 
ences are channeled into ineffective or even destructive directions. Family members can become de- 
pressed and withdrawn as a result of holding in their angry feelings. Other outlets for unexpressed anger 
appear to be nagging, sarcasm, or constant criticism about small things. The person who is the target of 
this nagging gets angry, but when he or she says something, the other person accuses the person of being 
overiy sensitive and of making a big deal out of nothing. A third destructive outlet is displacement. 
Rather than express anger at a person directly, a family member directs anger toward another member of 
the family or toward someone outside the family. A woman may be very angry at her husband because he 
is being unfaithful, but she expresses her anger by being very tense with her son and beating him when he 
misbehaves. ' 

At the other extreme are those families that cannot seem to bring the expression of conflict or anger to a 
close. One of the big differences between couples who are satisfied in their relationship and those who 
are not is the amount of negative communication among the latter. Satisfied couples have predominantly 
positive interactions. When they disagree or have conflicts, they find ways to bring the conflict to a close. 
Dissatisfied couples seem to find their conflicts escalating rather rapidly so that they arrive at a high level 
of hostility and have trouble backing off or finding a way to diffuse the tension (Gottman & Levenson, 
1986). 

Finally, individuals who have lived together for a long time may find that effective communication is 
disrupted by habits that are no longer appropriate. Couples find comfortable ways to stay in touch with 
each other, they express little phrases or ask each other stock questions, almost knowing in advance how 
the other person is going to answer. Similarly, parents have certain strategies for interacting with their 
children that feel comfortable and where the interactions are predictable. But as individuals change and 

Er|c 187 IGl 




Developing Family Communication Patterns 



MODULE ^ J 

experience new things, as their needs for intimacy and disclosure in a relationship chaiige, or as their 
capacity for communication expands, these habits are no longer adequate to preserve authentic relation- 
ships. Family members may have to experience some anxiety as they give up familiar communication 
rituals in order to arrive at new patterns of interaction that are more appropriate to the needs and compe- 
tencies of the communication partners. 



References 

Barnes, H. L., & Olson, D. H. (1985). Parent-adolescent communication and the circumplex model. 
Child DevelopmenU 56, 438-447. 

Bates, E., Bretherton, I., & Snyder, L. (1988). Fromfirst words to grammar Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press. 

Cancian, F. M. (1985). Gender politics: Love and power in the private and public spheres. InA. S. 
Rossi (Ed.). Gender and the life course. New York: Aldine. 

Gottman, J. M., & Levenson, R. W. (1986). Assessing the role of emotion in marriage. Behavioral 
Assessment, S, 31-48. 

Hawkins, J. L., Weisberg, C, & Ray, D. W. (1980). Spouse differences in communication style prefer- 
ence, perception, and behavior. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 42, 585-593. 

King, L. A. (1993). Emotional expression, ambivalence over expression, and marital satisfaction. 
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 601-607. 

Nelson, K. (1981). Individual differences in language development: Implications for development and 
language. Developmental Psychology, 17, 170-187. 

Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (1995). Development through life: A psychosocial approach (6th 
ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. 

NoUer, P. (1980). Misunderstandings in marital communication: a study of couples* nonverbal commu- 
nication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 1 135-1 148. 

Rogoff, B., & Morelli, G. (1989). Perspectives on children's development from cultural psychology. 
American Psychologist, 44, 343-348. 

Rubin, L.B.( 1983). Intimate strangers: Men and women together. New York: Harper and Row. 

Rutter, M. (1990). Commentary: Some focus and process considerations regarding effects of parental 
depression on children. Developmental Psychology, 26, 60-67. 




1G2 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 



1 


3 


} 


r CONTENT c ^ 
Vs^ MODULE ^ J 



Snow, C. E. (1984). Parent-child interaction and the development of communicative ability. In R. L. 
Schiefelbusch & J. Pcikar (Eds.). Communicative competence: Acquisition and intervention. Baltimore: 
University Park Press, p. 69-108. 

Stinnett, N.,&DeFrain, J. (1989). The healthy family: Is it possible? The second handbook on parent 
education. New York: Academic Press. 

Tannen, D. (1990). Youjust don* t understand: Women and men in conversation. New York: William 
Morrow & Co. 

Tronick, E. Z., & Cohn, J. F. (1989). Infant-mother face-to-face interaction: Age and gender differ- 
ences in coordination and the occurrence of miscoordination. Child Development, 60, 85-92. 

White, B. L., Kaban, B. T., & Attanucci, i. S. (1979). The origins of human competence. Lexington, 
Mass: D.C. Heath. 



Learning Activities 



1. Importance 
of communi- 

. cation in 
family life 



a. In Family Relations Research Teams, draw a picture of your simulated family 
situation and label it, "A Scene in a Typical Day of the XYZ Family.'' Include 
various members of your simulated family using typical communicative phrases, 
such as those listed below. Display the pictures in class. Describe your first 
impression of these pictures. 

(1) Not now, I'm watching television. 

(2) Can't you see I'm trying to read the newspaper? 

(3) I've had a stressful day, I just want to lie here and relax. 

(4) Get off the phone! I need to call my friend. 

(5) What do I need to do to get some help around here? 

Discussion Questions 

• Is the family atmosphere you depicted conducive to family communication? 
Why or why not? 

• Are the family members communicating with each other? Why or why not? 

• What would you do to change this situation and improve communication? 

• What communication challenges do families face? 

b. Write a story about a situation in which you were trying to communicate some- 
thing to someone in your family. In pairs, share your stories and identify why 
communication was important in that family situation. 




Developing Family Communication Patterns 



C CONTENT c >\ 
MODULE ^ J 



Collect magazine and newspaper articles that illustrate how communication has 
broken down in family settings. Discuss what you would have done differently if 
you were in that situation. 

FHA/HERO: Poll teens and parents to discover concerns regarding family 
communication. Identify top concerns and set a proj'^xjt or activity goal to 
provide information and/or build communication skills to address these concerns. 
Conduct information and awareness activities such as displays, brochures, or 
guest speakers. Evaluate the impact of your project on chapter members, stu- 
dents, and local families. 



2* Effective a. 
and ineffective 
communication 



Using classroom resources such as textbooks and audiovisual materials, define 
communication. In small groups, list words that describe or are related to com- 
munication. Post these words in the classroom and define any unfamiliar words. 
Read Model of a Single Communication (p. 202) and circle those words and 
phrases that you have identified as being related to the communication process. 
In small groups, write a definition for family communication. Share your defini- 
tion with the class and decide how communication and family communication 
are similar and different. 



Discussion Questions 

• Why is communication important to families? To individuals? To society? 

• What are the consequences of good communication in relationships? 

• What types of communication skills do you use in class? In your family? At 
work? At school? 

• What do these skills have in common? 

Complete Self-Description Exercise (p. 203). In pairs, share your objects and 
display them in the classn jo^n. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook 
about your communication style using the questions below. 

(1) How would you describe yourself as a communicator? 

(2) When are communication skills most important to you? Least important? 

(3) What do you consider before trying to communicate something important to 
someone else? 

(4) How has your present family shaped your communication skills? 

(5) What communication skills would you like to develop for your future 
family? 

Discuis'on Questions 

• Was it difficult to think of a way to represent your communication style? Why 
or why not? 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 




C CONTENT c ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



• V^hy is it important to thin., about the ways in which you communicate with 
others? 

• Will being a good communicator contribute to satisfying relationships with 
others? Why or why not? 

c. Read Family Communication Patterns (p. 204). 
Discussion Questions 

• What are the consequences of effective communication? Ineffective communi- 
cation? 

• How often are we misunderstood? At school? With friends? With family? At 
work? 

• Do we always say what we mean ? Why or why not? 

• What can be ddne to clarify our messages? 

• Why do you suppose some families communicate better than others? 

d. Complete Listening in for a Day (p. 205). Review Checking Up On Commu- 
nication Skills (p. 54). Using the data collected on Listening in for a Day 

(p. 205), identify examples of effective and ineffective communication. Post 
examples in the classroom and explain why you classified each example as 
effective or ineffective. In small groups, share observations and draw conclu- 
sions about communication you observed. 

e. Make a poster illustrating the levels of communication listed below. Explain the 
purpose of each level of communication and why peak communication is impor- 
tant to a strong family. 

(1) Clich6 conversation: small talk with little personal sharing 

(2) Reporting: sharing facts about others, no self-relating 

(3) Sharing ideas: expressing ideas, judgments, and decisions; beginning self- 
revelation, but no trust is established 

(4) Sharing feelings: emotional intimacy and beginning to have emotional needs 
met 

(5) Peak communication: complete openness and honesty, usually memorable 
rare occurrence of perfect accord or harmony, reactions shared 

Discussion Questions 

• What /^v-?/ of communication occurs most often in families? 

• Why is peak communication difficult in some families? 

• What skills are needed at each level of communication? 

• What events might occur in a family to cause the family to move to a different 
level of communication ? 



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19 




Developing Family Communication Patterns 



CCONTEOT 
MODULE ^ J 

3. Constructive a. 
communication 
strategies 



In small groups, list five phrases you least like to hear from parents or siblings. 
Then list five phrases you most like to hear from parents or siblings. Share your 
lists and note phrases in common. Complete Door Openers and Slammers 
(p. 206). Create examples of situations in families in which door openers and 
slammers were used. 



Discussion Questions 

• What are the consequences when these two types of phrases are used in families? 

• Why are these phrases used? 

• Which type of phrases lead to stronger families? Why? 

b. Read Communicating vrtth I Messages (p. 207-208). 
Discussion Questions 

• Why are I messages part of effective communication strategies? 

• What are the consequences of using each type of message? 

• Why is an I message more effective than a you message? 

• What can you do to make your communication more effective? 

c. In pairs, choose one of the family communication situations below or create your 
own situation. Create and perform two role-plays: one using an I message in that 
situation, and the second using a you message. Compare the possible conse- 
quences of both role-plays. Decide which was the more effective method of 
communicating. 

(1) You've just finished a five-page paper for class. You leave the room and 
return to find that your little sister has colored on three of the pages. 

(2) Your mother is a single parent and enjoys going out each weekend with her 
friends. She expects you to take care of your younger brother whenever she is 
away from the house. Now that you are in high school, you would like to do 
some things with your friends on the weekends. You think it is unfair that your 
mother does not consider your needs and always assumes that you will be 
around to babysit. 

(3) You talked to your dad one night about something a friend of yours had done. 
You thought the conversation was confidential. Two days later your friend 
says, "My dad found out from your dad what I had done. Some friend you 
are." You see your dad that night and he says, "Well, I had a talk with Jerry's 
dad last night. I think he'll straighten his son out, OK." 

(4) You and your spouse are both very busy with career responsibilities. A few 
months ago, you discussed how to share the household responsibilities, but you 
have noticed your spouse has rarely found the time to do the tasks assigned to 
him or her. You resent having to do the work that he or she has failed to do. 




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C CONTENT £ ^ 
MODULE ^ y 

(5) Each year your aunt expects you and your spouse and two small children to 
join her for Thanksgiving dinner. Your spouse is pressuring you to spend 
Thanksgiving with the other side of the family and has suggested possibly 
going to your aunt's every other year. You feel this is fair but are afraid to 
hurt your aunt's feelings. You have never missed a Thanksgiving at her 
house. 

d. Use classroom resources to differentiate between verbal and nonverbal communi- 
cation. Read Communicating with Nonverbal Messages (p. 209). Write the 
following on the chalkboard and discuss: 60 to 75 percent of our communication 
is nonverbal. Often times mixed messages are given. At least 85 percent of what 
we say is misinterpreted. Complete Becoming Aware of Nonverbal Messages 
(p. 210). In pairs, share your list responses, describe some of the motions and . 
gestures you use, and explain what ea^^h means. 

Discussion Questions 

• What nonverbal expressions does your family use? 

• What factors should you consider when interpreting nonverbal messages? 

• How do nonverbal messages differ among cultures? 

• What happens when nonverbal messages are misinterpreted? 

• What happens when nonverbal and verbal messages do not match in communi- 
cation? 

e. In small groups, create role-plays illustrating how verbal messages can be 
interpreted in different ways because of the nonverbal messages transmitted in 
the same communication. For instance, take a phrase such as "How are you?" 
and role-play it in two ways: one communicating interest and the other commu- 
nicating disinterest. 

f . FHA/HERO: Develop the card game Guess the Message (p. 2 1 1 ), and play it 
at your next chapter meeting. 

Discussion Questions 

• Which version was easiest to act out? Why? 

• What similarities did you notice in how the emotions were communicated? 
What differences? 

• What happens when you are unable to read nonverbal messages accurately? 

g. Complete Listening Habits (p. 212). Share your findings and identify differ- 
ences between effective and ineffective listening. 

h. Read Hints for Effective Listening (p. 213-21 4). 




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( 




J 


> 


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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



I FHA/HERO: At a chapter meeting, choose a controversial issue to discuss. 
Establish ground rules for the discussion that require good listening. For ex- 
ample, one rule might be that before you can respond to a speakers* comments, 
you must summarize what that speaker has said. Designate some chapter mem- 
bers to act as observers and record examples of communication for later discus- 
sion. In small groups, share your observations, noting your chapter's communi- 
cation skills. Analyze the importance of good interpersonal communication and 
how this has a direct effect on the success of your chapter. 

Discussion Questions 

• What was most difficult about this experience? 

• If you had not had to summarize the i,peakers views before giving your own, 
would you always have been aware of what was being said? Why or why not? 

• Is active listening a necessary part of constructive communication ? Why or 
why not? 

• Would it be helpfid to have a similar rule at a family meeting? Why or why 
not? 



j. In pairs, complete Steps to Active Listening (p. 215-216). Share your responses 
with the class and explain the consequences of using active listening when 
communicating in families. 

Discussion Questions 

• Is active listening an easy or difficult communication skill for you? Why? 

• How important is active listening to effective communication? 

• Is active listening more important in some communication situations than . 
others? Why or why not? 

k. Action Project: Complete Listening Habits Checklist (p. 217). Set personal 
goals for improving your listening skills, chart your progress, and summarize 
your project in a written report. 

1. In Family Relations Research Teams, designate two group members as commu- 
nicators and others as obseivers. The communicator will role-play the situations 
below while the observer watches the conversation. After the role-play, ask the 
observer to explain why the communication was effective and/or ineffective. 
Repeat other role-plays until all group members have assumed the observer role. 

( 1) A father and daughter discuss whether or not she is allowed to date a boy that 
is quite a bit older than she. 

(2) A father and son discuss the possibilities of buying a new car for their 
teenage son to drive. 



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m. 




C CONTENT c ^ 
MODXjiE ^ J 



(3) A husband and wife discuss who should stay home from work with their sick 
child. 

(4) Two siblings fight over the use of the telephone. 

(5) A father and son argue because the son refuses to do homework or bring 
books home even though his grades are dropping. 

(6) A mother refuses to let her teenage daughter go out since the daughter has 
already been out two nights this week. 

(7) A family argues over household chores. 

Action Project: Develop a personal goal that would improve your communica- 
tion with your family. Keep a journal recording your experiences in conimuni- 
eating with your family. At the end of your project, evaluate the progress you 
have made toward your goal. 



4. Barriers to 
communi- 
cation 



Identify factors about communication settings that influence your decisions about 
how best to communicate effectively. Your list may include some of the contex- 
tual factors below. Describe how each of these factors might influence whether 
or not you communicate effectively. 

(1) Time for effective communication 

(2) The developmental level of the receiver 

(3) Gender differences between receiver and sender 

(4) Cultural differences between receiver and sender 

(5) The physical setting for the interaction 

(6) The mood or feelings of the sender and receiver 

(7) Levels of power (dominant or subordinate) held or perceived by sender and 
receiver 

Discussion Questions 

• Which of these contextual factors have you experienced in recent communica- 
tion settings? 

• Whic:^ of these contextual factors can make communication difficult? How so? 

• Which of these contextual factors would occur in family communication? 

• What can one do to enhance communication when faced with each of these 
contextual factors ? 

Draw an elaborate mirror frame on a piece of paper and reflect on the things that 
keep you from communicating effectively. Write these things inside the mirror 
frame, Compare your responses with the barriers to communication identified on 
Communication Roadblocks (p. 218). In Family Relations Research Teams, 
choose a barrier and research answers to the questions below with regard to that 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



C CONTENT ff^ 
MODULE ^ J 

barrier. Form new groups, with each member of the new group having re- 
searched a different barrier. Share information about barriers and develop a chart 
with information about at least four different barriers to communication. 

( 1 ) How would you describe this barrier? 

(2) How does it inhibit communication? 

(3) Create examples of communication situations in which this barrier is present. 

c. FHA/HERO: For one week, watch television shows about families to analyze 
family communication problems. Identify barriers to communication experi- 
enced by the characters in these programs. Discuss the consequences of these 
barriers and identify ways to change the situations to remove the barriers. 

d. Read Things Kids Say That Are Guaranteed to Make Their Parents See 
Red!! (p. 219). Make a list of things parents say that make you see red. Identify 
reasons why these phrases can be seen as barriers to communication in families. 

e. Action Project: Observe your family's communications for a period of time and 
record situations in which barriers to communication are present. Schedule and 
hold a family meeting to discuss your observations and plan ways to improve 
communication in your family. 




In Family Relations Research Teams, choose a simulated family situation or use 
the one you selected in Activity Id of the Relating to Others Module. Consider 
the similarities and differences between the ways in which members of your 
simulated family communicate, and list factors that would contribute to differ- 
ences in communication styles. Share your list with the class and compile an 
overall list on the chalkboard. You may have identified some of the differences 
below. 

( 1 ) Age differences (young person to adult person) 

(2) Gender diffe^rences (male/female) 

(3) Power differences (parent/child) 

(4) Nonverbal communication preferences (meanings of gestures or other 
nonverbal signals) 

Discussion Questions 

• Why do these differences exist? 

• Why should you be aware of these differences when communicating in a 
family? 

• How can you accommodate these differences to make communication effective? 



5. Developmental a. 
and individual 
differences in 
communication 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



b. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook comparing how you communi- 
cate with friends to how you communicate with your family. Use the questions 
below to guide your reflection. In pairs, share your journal entries and list 
differences in communication v/ith friends and communication with family. 

(1) In what ways do you typically communicate with family members? With 
friends? 

(2) What special communication techniques are unique to family? To friends? 

(3) What is similar about your communication with friends and with family? 
Different? 

(4) Why do these differences exist? 

(5) Doyoucommunicatemoreeffectively with family or with friends? Why? 

c. In same gender groups, female groups list ways boys communicate and male 
groups list ways gi:ls communicate. Compare the lists and note similarities and 
differences. Discuss how these differences become evident in family communi- 
cation. 

d. Complete Ready! Set! Communicate! (p. 220). 

e. FH A/HERO: Invite a panel of parents to class to discuss how they con: muni- 
cate with teenage children. Devise a list of questions to use to stimulate discus- 
sion about challenges in communicating with different ages and genders. 

f. Action Project: Volunteer at a recreation center, child care center, or program 
in which you will be interacting with children. Keep a journal outlining commu- 
nication situations in which you were responsible for communicating a message 
to a child. Note the skills you use and the way that you set the stage for commu- 
nication in these situations. Write a summary about what you have learned when 
communicating with someone at a different developmental level. 



6. Appropriate a 
timeS) 
settings, 
and circum- 
stances for 
communication 



As a class, discuss how times, settings, and circumstances can influence the 
effectiveness of family communication. In small groups, read the case study 
below. Determine what happened in the case study and what the consequences 
were of the actions taken. Then change the timing, setting, and/or circumstances 
of the scenario to result in better communication. Role-play your scenario for the 
class. 

(1) Melissa was asked to go to the homecoming dance by Jason, the boy she has 
been dying to go out with. She will need a new dress and she knows her 
mom, who is a single parent, is really struggling to make ends meet. In 
addition, her mom doesn't really like Jason, who is three years older than 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



C CONTENT ff>v 
MODULE ^ J 

Melissa. Melissa decides she must ask her mother tonight because Jason is 
demanding an answer. Her mother arrives home from work two hours late. 
It has been a horrible day for her. Absolutely nothing went right and her 
boss hinted at a possible lay-off. Melissa bounds out of her room and says 
"Hey, mom, I need a dress for homecoming-Fm going with Jason!" Her 
mother explodes. 

Discussion Questions 

• What did you change about the scenario? Why? 

• What are the consequences of your version of the situation? 

• How does your version illustrate effective communication? 

b. In Family Relations Research Teams, resolve the family communication problem 
below by using the practical problem-solving process. Turn in one comnleted 
Practical Family Problems Think Sheet (p. 29) for your group. Each group 
member should sign the sheet that they agree the solution is the best. One 
member of the group will be randomly selected to explain how they used the 
process to solve the communication problem, 

(1) Jason, Joan, and Jessey Conway have just moved to a new neighborhood. 
Jessey had many friends at his last school and he also played quarterback on 
the football team. Jessey plans to try out for the football team. He has 
attended several practices and the coach said he's the best quarterback he's 
ever seen. One day after practice a gang of guys threatens his life if he tries 
out for.the team and makes it. Jessey is afraid, and he has no friends to talk 
to. When Jessey get5> home that day his mother notices he is upset so she 
asks, "Jessey, what happened today? Why are you so upset?" Jessey says, 
"Mom, 1 don't want to talk about it." He goes to his room and slams the 
door. Joan has never seen her son so upset and she is very worried about 
him. What should Joan do? 

Discussion Questions 

• What did you consider as you decided which decision was best? 

• What choices does Joan have? 

• Why is communication important to this situation? 

c. Action Project: Develop a plan to hold regular family meetings in your family. 
Talk with family members about the best place and time to meet, and listen to the 
concerns of family members to determine agenda items for the family meeting. 
Set the stage with the right time, set a time limit, establish rules for the meeting, 
and identify items to be discussed. Keep a record of your meetings. Interview 
family members to determine the results of holding these meetings. 




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Developing Family Gommunication Patterns 




C CONTENT ff ^ 
MODULE ^ J 



d. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook summarizing what you have 
learned about communication through the learning activities in this module. Use 
the questions below to guide your reflection. 

(1) Why is it important to have good communication skills? 

(2) Describe your style of communicating. How is your style different or similar 
to those of other members of your family? 

(3) What are the most important skills of effective communication? 

(4) Which skills do you possess? Which would you like to improve? 

(5) How will your communication behavior change as a result of your participa- 
tion in the learning activities in this module? 



Assessment 

Paper and Pencil 

1. Write a paragraph explaining the importance of interpersonal communication skills in family life^ 

2. Given examples of family communication, distinguish between effective and ineffective communica- 
tion. 

3. Identify at least four barriers to communication in families. 

4. Given case studies of communication among family members, identify developmental and individual 
differences in communication skills. 

5. Given case studies, identify appropriate times, settings, and circumstances to communicate with 
family members. 

Classroom Experiences 

1 . Write a story about a situation in which you were trying to communicate something to someone in 
your family. In pairs, share your stories and identify why communication was important in that 
family situation. 

2. Design a three-dimensional object from construction paper that illustrates your communication style. 

3. Observe and record communication situations. Identify examples of effective and ineffective com- 
munication and explain why you classified each example as effective or ineffective. 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



C CONTENT 
MODULE ^ J 

4. In pairs, choose a family communication situation and perform two role-plays: one using an I mes- 
sage in that situation, and the second using a you-message. Compare the possible consequences of 
both role-plays. Decide which was the more effective method of communicating. 

5. Identify ways you communicate attitudes and feelings both verbally and nonverbally by completing a 
chart that lists two or more ways you speak and signal to others in various situations. 

6. Given sample statements, identify the feelings behind the statement and an appropriate active listen- 
ing response. 

7. In cooperative learning groups, cfioose a communication barrier and research that barrier. Form new 
groups, with each member of the new group having researched a different barrier. Share information 
about barriers and develop a chart with information about at least four different barriers to communi- 
cation. 

8. Write a journal entry comparing how you communicate with friends to how you communicate with 
your family. 

9. Given a communication situation, describe the factors you will consider as you communicate. Then 
write what you will say and do to establish the mood for effective communication. 

10. In small groups, read a communication case study and determine what happened in the case study and 
what the consequences were of the actions taken. Then change the timing, setting, and/or circum- 
stances of the scenario to result in better communication. Role-play your scenario for the class. 

1 1 . In cooperative learning groups, resolve a family communication problem by using the practical 
problem-solving process. 

12. Write a journal entry summarizing what you have learned about communication through the learning 
activities in this module. 





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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



C CONTENT ff A 
MODULE ^ J 

Application to ReaMife Settings 

L Complete a listening skills checklist to evaluate your listening skills. Set personal goals for improv- 
ing your listening skills, chart your progress, and summarize your project in a written report, 

2. Develop a personal goal that would improve your communication with your family. Keep a journal 
recording your experiences in communicating with your family. At the end of your project, evaluate 
the progress you have made toward your goal. 

3. Observe your family's communication patterns for a period of time and record situations in which 
barriers to communication are present. Schedule and hold a family meeting to discuss your observa- 
tions and plan ways to improve communication in your family. ^ 

4. Volunteer at a recreation center, child care center, or program in which you will be interacting with 
children. Keep a journal outlining communication situations in which you were responsible for 
communicating a message to a child. Note the skills you use and the way that you set the stage for 
communication in these situations. Write a summary about what you have learned when communi- 
cating with someone at a different developmental level. 

5. Develop a plan to hold regular family meetings in your family. Talk with family members about the 
best place and time to meet, and listen to the concerns of family members to determine agenda items 
for the family meeting. Set the stage with the right time, set a time limit, establish rules for the 
meeting, and identify items to be discussed. Keep a record of your meetings. Interview family 
members to determine the results of holding these meetings. 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Model of a Single Communication 



Sender 



Receiver 



Verbal and nonverbal message 



^ (D 

Verbal and nonverbal reaction toliiessage^^fcj) 



Communication is a process that.involves both sending^nd receiving messages. The communication message 
is complete when it is sent (encoded), received (decoded), and reacted to. When both sender and receiver fulfill 
their responsibilities in the process, clear communication can be achieved. The skills in the process, as described 
below, are skills that can be learned with practice. 



l.The role of the sender is as follows: 

• Initiate the message. Choose a time and 
place that will enhance communication. 

• Decide what to say and how to say it. 
Consider the purpose of the communication. 

(a) What specific action or event led io your 
desire to speak? 

(b) What do you think (rational thought)? 

(c) What do you feel (emotions)? 

(d) What do you want from others? 

(c) What action are you willing to take? 

• Accurately describe ideas, perceptions, 
feelings, and needs without implying 
judgment: "I think. . "I feel. . 

*i want. . or "In my view. . ^ 

• Consider the perspective of the receiver 
when phrasing your message. 

• Make your verbal and nonverbal messages 
match. Consider the following: 

(a) Eye contact 

(b) Posture 

(c) Gestures 

(d) Facial expressions 

(e) Voice tone 

• Observe verbal and nonverbal reaction from 
receiver. 

• Correct message if necessary. 

• Stop and let receiver react. 



2. The role of the receiver is as follows: 

• Be attentive and show interest with 
nonverbal messages. 

• Listen without planning what to say next. 

• Listen to understand what the sender thinks 
and feels. 

• Listen without interrupting. 

• Make brief comments to show interest: 
"I see. . or "Uh-huh." 

• Draw out additional information to improve 
your understanding. Use phrases such as: 

(a) Tell me more about. . . 

(b) Do you mean that. . .? 

(c) Tm not sure I understand. 

(d) Are you feeling? 

(e) Would you like to tai^' about . . .? 
(0 Let's discuss it further. 

• Once sender corrects or acknowledges that 
you've heard correctly, react. 

3. The following can influence whether the 
message is accurately sent and received: 



Body language 
Words with 
multiple meanings 
Mixed signals 
Stereotyping 
Prejudice 
Accusations 
Destructive criticism 
Use of power 



Poor self-esteem or 

negative attitude 

Noise or distraction 

Quarreling 

Moralizing, 

preaching, 

lecturing 

Poor timing 

Perceptions 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 




Self-Description Exercise 

^ How do you go about communicating with others? 
^ How would you describe yourself as a communicator? 
^ What strategies do you use when you interact with others? 



These are the questions you will want to consider as you complete this exercise. The purpose of this 
activity is to think about yourself as a communicator. You will design a three-dimensional object out 
of construction paper that reflects your style as a communicator. The shape of the object, the colors 
of the paper used, and the kind of object built can all reflect your style of communication . For instance, 
you may choose bright colors such as yellow or orange to describe an outgoing, cheerful communi- 
cation style. You might use the shape of a person or a house to identify the importance of your family 
in helping you develop your communication skills. 

In the space below, rough out a design or make some plans for your construction paper object. 



When you have completed your object, choose a partner, and share what you have made. Explain 
ways the object reflects aspects of your communication style. Then listen as your partner describes 
his or her object. 




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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Family Communication Patterns 

Strong families communicate with each other in many different ways. The communication patterns 
formed in the family depend on many factors including the skills of individujxi members, the 
atmosphere in which communication takes place, and most importantly the ability of family members 
to negotiate and compromise in conflicting situations that are inherent in family life. The chart below 
gives some distinguishing characteristics of effective and ineffective communication within a family. 



i Effective Family Communication 

' Both positive and negative feelings are ex- 
■ pressed in constructive ways. 


Ineffective Family Communication ■ 

Feelingsareunexpressed, ignored, orexpressed ■ 
in a destructive manner, resulting in feelings of ■ 
inferiority, rejection, and insecurity. ■ 


■ Those listening to communication look for 

■ both nonverbal and verbal messages. 


There is little attempt to understand what is ■ 
being communicated. ■ 


■ Family members are able to encourage expres- 

■ sion of and empathize with the feelings of 

■ others. 


Family members are unable or unwilling to ■ 
empathize with other's situation. ■ 


■ Family members encourage conversation, valu- 

■ ing it as part of time together. 


rui-uowns ana lum-oiT woras are usea lo ais- ~ 
courage communication. J 


■ Active listening is used to indicate that the 
J person communicating is understood. 


There is little or no exchange of ideas or ■ 
opinions. ■ 


■ Communication happens in an atmosphere of 

■ security and trust. 


Those with power in the family use it to control ■ 
one-way communication. ■ 


■ Conflict is resolved with a two-way dialogue in 

■ which both sides have opportunities to share 

■ their perspectives and arrive at a mutually 

■ agreeable solution. 


Conflicts often go unresolved, resulting in f rus- ■ 
tration and destructive expression of feelings. ■ 



Family members make time for communica- 
tion, controlling things such as the use of the 
television. 



There is no time set aside for communication 
and passive activities such as watching televi- 
sion control time families spend together. 



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Developing Family Communication Patterns 




Listening In For A Day 

Each day you are surrounded by communications at home, at school and 
on the job. For an entire day, make a special effort to pay careful attention 
to the communication that takes place around you. 

Think about how successful the communications are. Are people sending and receiving clear messages? Are 
people listening well to what others are saying? How do nonverbal messages affect the communication? 

After listening in for a day» choose one communication that especially interested you. Describe it in detail and 
analyze what you think was happening. No real names, please, unless it happens to be your own. 

Use these questions to guide your analysis: 

1 . What was the purpose of the communication? 



2. How did the sender communicate the message? What type of statements were used? Give some 
examples. 



3. Did the receiver listen well? Why or why not? 



4. Explain whether or not the communication had the desired result. 



5. In what ways could the communication have been improved? 



6. What did you learn from observing this communication? 




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Developing Family Communication Patterns 



ERLC 



Door Openers and Slammers 

Read the commonly used door openers and door slammers below. Add others you 
have heard used or have used yourself. After adding to the lists, answer the 
questions below. 



Door Openers 

Tell me more. 

Do you mean that . . . ? 

Fm not sure I understand . . . 

Tell me ifVm wrong. 

Are you feeling . . . ? 



I 



Door Slammers 

Shut up. 
You* re wrong 
I don 7 want to listen. 
That*s a stupid thing to say! 
If you had any sense . . . 
You don 7 know what you *re talking about. 



1 . Which of the openers and slammers have been used on you? 

2. Which have you used on others? 

3. What emotions do you feel when you gel the following openers or slammers? 

If you had any sense ... 

Don't be so stupid . . . 
(Name your own) 



Source: Colorado Core Curriculum: Relationships. Denver Colorado: Colorado Community College and Occupational 
Education System and Colorado State University, 1991. 



206 



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Faifuly Relations 



P Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Page 1 of 2 ^ 



Communicating Witli / Messages 





Messages are communication tools that let another person know 

(1) how his or her behavior makes you feel. 

(2) that you trust him or her to respect your needs by modifying his 
or her behavior appropriately. 

You messages are the opposite of I messages. You messages tend to 
evoke blame, resentment, and defensiveness, while I messages tend to 
evoke understanding, empathy, and willingness to see the other's point of view. 

1 Messages make the assumptions that the receiver is: 

• capable of making appropriate decisions, and will do so when provided with good 
information 

• willing and able to make decisions for the common good when provided with the right 
information 

• a person who cares about people 

I messages include a description of your feelings, what happened, and your reaction. To practice 
various ways to make an I message you can use the open-ended statements below. 

I feel (describe feelings) 

when (describe what happened) ! 



and then I (describe your reaction) 



OR 



I feel (feeling) 



when (describe what happened) 
and when I feel (repeat feelings) 
and I ( reaction) 



when (describe what happened) 



I get (feeling) 



OR 



and then I (reaction) 



Source: Colorado Core Curriculum: Relationships, Denver Colorado: Colorado Community College and Occupational 
Education System and Colorado State University, 1991. 

207211 



Family Relations 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Communicating With / Messages (continued) 



Page 2 of 2. 



Practice writing I messages and You messages for each of the situations below. The first 
one provides an example of each. 



Situation 

A father is upset 
because his daughter 
often arrives home 
after her midnight 
curfew. 



You Message 

"You'd better be in by 12:00 
or else." 



/M( 




essage 



I feel worried when you come home late 
and I would feel better if you would be 
home by midnight because I am con- 
cerned about your safety late at night. 



2. A child is upset 
because an older 
brother refuses to share 
the family bicycle. 



1 3. A mother is upset with 

■ her son when he sits 

■ down to watch TV 

. because she thinks his 
J chores should come 
J first. 






i 4. A brother and sister are 
1 making so much noise, 
1 talking and laughing so 

■ loudly, that an older 

■ sister can^t hear a 
. telephone message. 






■ 5. A sister is always 
' taking clothes from her 
1 sister without asking; 
1 she doesn't take any 
1 responsibility to return 
g them clean. 






■ 6. John makes plans to 
S meet his friend Peter at 
J the park. John shows 
' up 40 minutes late and 
i offers no excuse or 
1 apology. 








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Communicating with Nonverbal Messages 

The earliest human communication is relayed from the parent to the child through touching and tender 
loving care. For some time, a baby responds with cries, smiles, and squirms of body language that are 
prespeech forms. Gestures are movements of the body and limbs that serve as supplements to speech 
or are substitutes for it. Children, as they gain more speech, transform early gestures into words. In 
some cultures, talking with hand motion accompaniment is considered bad taste. In one African 
country, pointing is done with the tongue rather than with fingers. 



Grooming and Dress: Strong, nonverbal signals are sent to others by the 
clothes you choose to wear. Proper clothing varies greatly from beach, to church, 
to school. Clean uniforms inform the customer that this is likely to be a sanitary 
place to eat. The employee appears to care about personal appearance, so the 
employee is probably going to give the type of restaurant service desired. 
Disorderly, messy clothing suggests that one is disorderly and messy about their 
job as well. 



Eye Contact: Most people prefer eye contact when talking with someone. It says, "I 
care what you are saying,'' and indicates that the person is paying attention. It also suggests 
a quality of honesty and sincerity. It is very desirable to seek the same eye-to-eye height 
level when talking about things of a serious nature. For example, children respond better 
to adults who kneel to speak with them. 



General Gestures and Movement* There are positive movements and those 
considered negative or inappropriate, though much of this interpretation can vary with 
cultural influence. Positive movements might be a smile, a nod, or a wave. A 
relatively relaxed use of the body and a pleasant facial expression, unmshed, produce 
a relaxed atmosphere. 

Glaring with cowered eyebrows, raising the eyebrows, shoulder shmgs, head shakes, crossed 
arms and legs can be interpreted as nonverbal messages. Rolling eyes and sighing usually 
signal a negative emotion. Making faces, angry looks, grabbing things, stiff body jerks with 
other quick movements, and up-tight posture signify stress. Yawns, leaning on hands while 
listening, and slouching posture may signal boredom. 

Gestures create lasting impressions in those that observe you whether at home, ' 
at school, or on the job. Be sure you are sending the signals you want received. " 



Body Carriage: The way one walks and stands, tells others a great deal 
about what one thinks of themselves. Even the chair you choose in class when 
given a choice tells the teacher about your willingness to participate. 






209 



213 



Family Relations 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Becoming Aware of Nonverbal Messages 

Identify ways you communicate attitudes and feelings both verbally and nonverbally for the 
same situations by completing the following chart. List two or more ways you speak and 
signal to others for each situation below. 



Verbal 



Nonverbal 



Greetings 



Departure 



I 

Affection 



Praise 



Disapproval 



Come to me 



214 



Faniily Relations 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Guess the Message 

In groups of four, use a deck of playing cards to play the game below. The cards in the deck" each 
mean a different emotion or signal, depending on the version you select'below. 



Version 1 




y i^raiuii 


Card 


Emotion 


Card 


Signal Message 


2 = 


Shyness 


2 = 


See, I told you so! 


3 = 


Fear 


' 3 = 


Don't bother me with that! 


, 4 = 


Loneliness 


4 = 


Go jump in the lake! 


5 = 


Disappointment 


5 = 


Get off my back! 


6 = 


Anxiety 


6 = 


Now, that's really clever! 


7 = 


Happiness 


7 = 


It's my turn on the phone. 


8 = 


Grief 


8 = 


Well, dam it anyway! 


9 = 


Anger 


9 = 


I really like that! 


10 = 


Peacefulness 


10 = 


Well, isn't that a bad situation! 


Jack = 


Boredom 


Jack = 


I'm terribly disappointed in you 


Queen = 


Anticipation 


Queen = 


Now, Just look here! 


King = 


Excitement 


King = 


Cut it out! 


Ace = 


Love 


Ace = 


In one ear and out the other! 



Once you have decided which version to use, deal out all but about five cards for the draw pile so 
everyone has the same number of cards. 

Get rid of your cards by correctly role-playing or guessing the gestures used by other players to express 
the emotion in Version 1 or the signal messages in Version 2. 

The first person to get rid of all cards is the winner. 
To Play: 

1 . Player to the left of the dealer begins by selecting one (or more) cards from his or her own hand. 

2. The card is laid on the table face down. 

3. The player, without words, acts out the emotion or signals the message to represent that card. 

4. When the other players think they recognize what is being acted out, and also have the correct card, 
they are allowed to lay the card face down on the table in front of themselves. 

5. To check, all cards are turned face up at the same time. Those that match the actor's card are 
collected and placed on the.b^ottom of the draw pile. If no one matches, the actor did a poor job 
of communicating so the actor must take the card back and draw from the draw pile. Those with 
wrong guesses must also draw a card . If players put two or more ca.^ds down that seemed to match, 
then the same number must be drawn to replace the originals in their hands. 



ERIC 



211 



2lD 



Family Relations 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 




Listening Habits 



Following are 2 1 statements describing behaviors a person usually finds irritating because he 
feels he is not being listened to. Check (/) the ten that are the most irritating to you and make 
you think the other person is really not listening. 



_ 1 . The other person doesn't give me a chance to talk, I go in with a problem and 

never get a chance to tell about it. 
_ 2. The other person interrupts me when I talk. 

_ 3. The other person never looks at me when I talk. I don't know whether he is 
listening or not. 

_ 4. The other person continually fidgets with a pencil, a paper, or something, looking 

at it, and examining it rather than listening to me. 
_ 5. The other person treats me like an inferior. 
_ 6. The other person never smiles — I'm afraid to talk to him. 
_ 7. The other person asks questions as if he doubts everything I say, 
_ 8. Whenever I make a suggestion, the other person always puts it down, 
_ 9. The other person is always trying to get ahead of my story and guess what my 

point is, sometimes even finishing my sentence for me, 
_10. The other person frequently answers a question with another question and usually 

I can't answer. It embarrasses me, 
_1 1. The other person argues with everything I say — even before I have a chance to 

finish stating my case. 
_12, Everything I say reminds the other person of an experience he has had or a 

happening he has heard of recently, I get frustrated when he continually interrupts 

to say, "That reminds me, , ." 
_1 3, The other person sits there picking hangnails, or clipping fingernails, or cleaning 

his glasses, etc, I know he can't do that and listen, too, 
_14, He just waits for me to get through talking so he can interject something of his 

own. 

_1 5, When I have a good idea, he takes credit for it by saying something like, "Oh, yes, 

I have been thinking about that, too," 
_1 6, The other person stares at me when I'm talking and looks me in the eye so directly 

that I feel self-conscious. 
_17. The other person overdoes being attentive — too many nods of his head, or 

mm-mms or uh-huhs, 
_1 8. The other person inserts humorous remarks when I am trying to be serious. 
_19, The other person acts as if he is doing me a favor in seeing me, and frequently 

looks at the clock or his watch while I am talking, 
_20. The other person passes the buck about problems I raise. 



ERLC 



Source: Colorado Core Curriculum: Relationships. Denver Colorado: Colorado Community College and Occupational 
Education System and Colorado State University, 1 99 1 . ^ ^ 

212 



Family Relations 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 



- I Hints for Effective Listening 



Page 1 of 2 



Hearing: Do you ever hear the beginning of what someone is saying and immediately figure you know what 
he or she is going to say? Do you tune out at that point? If so, don't jump to conclusions when you listen. 
By assuming you know what is coming next, you can be distracted by your own thoughts. You may miss the 
speaker's main idea and damage your understanding of what is being said. 

Interpreting: The next time you're listening, try listening for ideas rather than for facts. Pay close attention. 
Clear your head of your own ideas. Listen instead to the speaker's ideas. Then try to find the main theme or 
reason for what is being said. Ask yourself, "Where is that fact leading? Why is the speaker presenting these 
ideas?" 

Evaluating: Train yourself to evaluate the main idea being presented, not the way the person is delivering 
the ideas. For instance, you have probably heard a person speak with charm, and yet you realize the person 
said little or nothing. There are others who speak with an air of authority and still are wrong. Or, an unpolished 
speaker may have something important to say. Put aside your opinions and listen rather than judge. 

Responding: When you're concentrating on listening, it shows. Nod your head to indicate when you 
understand. If possible, give the speaker feedback by repeating in your own words what you have heard. Ask 
questions if you don't understand something. Listen, and you will hear! 



Probes 

L Open-ended Questions areonesthatrequirea wide-range of responses to a broad topic. These 
are excellent conversation starters. They help open up the discussion and give each person a 
chance to contribute. 

What do you like? 

How do you feel about . . .? 

Tell me what you think it means . . .? 

2. Brief Comments Showing Interest help carry the conversation further. Such statements 
encourage the speaker to continue communicating. Used often, they help accent your interest 
and involvement as a listener. 

Oh, I see. 

Of course. 

Certainly. 



3. Pauses or Silence give people a chance to stop and think before they continue, or give another 
speaker an opportunity to join in the conversation. Silence can also be used to slow the pace 
of a conversation and bring it back to a relaxed, informative level. 



4. Reflective Statements indicate understanding, but noTi necessarily agreement. They also keep 
the conversation moving and can encourage other participants to express themselves in support 
of your reflective statement. 

I understand that you*re upset . . . 
I know that you want to . . . 
I appreciate how you feel . . . 

Vh — — — — — — — — — nfis — — ■ 

Source: Colorado Core Curriculum: Relationships. Denver Colorado: Colorado Community College and Occupational 
Education System and Colorado State University, 1991 . 

213 n < 



Family Relations 



I Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Hints for Effective Listening (continued) 



Page 2 of 2 



5. Neutral Questions and Phrases also keep the conversation flowing but help channel it into 
a more specific direction. 

Have you ever , , .? 
Do you enjoy . , .? 

6. Summary Statements are ones in which you briefly repeat what has been said to check 
understanding and gain commitment. 

Am I to understand that . . .? 
Is it safe to say that you . . ;? 

7. Leading Questions can also be used to summarize the previous conversation. Sometimes these 
can be misunderstood as manipulation and a clever cover to get others to do what you have in 
mind. 

You certainly want to . . ., don't you? 

8. Closed-ended Questions are the most rigid and structured probes. They permit only a narrow- 

response: Yes or iso. They can be excellent for checking understanding of commitment to 
action. 

Do you understand . . .? 

Are you willing to . . .? 



Skill 

Silence 

Grunts 
Parroting 



Communication Chart 
Deflnition Results 



No verbal response 



ooo> hmmm, ah, oh, uh, huh 



4^ Repeating exact sentence or 
part of the sentence 



£^ Allows freedom to talk. Sometimes 
it is all that is necessary. 



1^ Lets a person know you are listen- 
ing. Encourages more talk. 

imi^ Lets person know you heard exactly 
what they said. Draws them out 
more. 



Paraphrasing 4^ Repeating what you heard in your 4^ Adds clarity, spurs thought, gains 

own words acceptance. 

Active Listening Listening with your entire being. Promotes caring and understanding. 

Listening between the lines. It is meaningful. Increases close- 
Identifying feelings. Using empathy. ness, openness, and warmth. 



214 




Developing Family Communication Patterns 



w 



Page 1 of 2 



Steps to Active Listening 



1 . Think Carefully About Your Initial Response 

In many communication situations we react too quickly, and frequently the reaction is ardadblock 
response. If we can learn to stop ourselves from using our traditional responses, we have taken 
a huge step or the positive. Even if you do not know what to say next, but you are aware that your 
traditional response is less helpful-that's progress! 

Awareness is the first step in growth. Suspending your initial reaction leads to th^ awareness 
necessary for Step 2. 

2. Listen for Sense Data 

Hear the feelings underlying the words. Listen between the lines. 

3. Recognize and Accept Feelings —Acknowledge 

Feelings are okay-we own them! It is how we act on them that makes a difference. Permit 
yourself and others to own their feelings. 

4. Feed the Feeling Back-Interpret What Was Heard 

Feed the feelings back to the sender to let them know that you heard, and that how they feel is also 
important to you. This tells the other person that he or she has been heard and understood. 

Be inventive. If you hear anger, feedback: 

I hear anger in your voice . . . 

You must be enraged . . . 

You are really boiling . . . 



5. Trust 



Actively express your trust that the other person can do something about the situation. 



215 219 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 

' Page 2 of 2 
1 Steps to Active Listening (continued) | 

m Describe the feelings you hear in the statements below. Then write an active listening response to the situation.™ 


' Statement 


Feelings 


Active Listening Response E 


■ 1 . You got into my room 

■ and messed up my CD 

■ collection. 






* 2. The teacher wouldn't 
' call on me all day. 






' 3. The teacher doesn't 
' realize there are other 
B things in my life 
B besides school. 






1 4. The people in that 

1 office gossip too much. 




i 


1 5. Sue took Amy away 
.1 from me and now Amy 
1 won't be my best friend 
1 anymore. 






1 6. I am really tired of all 
1 your advice. 






1 7. You never listen to me! 






1 8.1 hate school-this is my 
1 last day. 






■ 9. It was such a good day. 






■ 10. I got the highest grade 

■ in the class. 







ERIC 



216 



2Z0 



Family Relations 



i Developing Family Communication Patterns 

Listening Habits Checklist 



How Often 



Often Sometimes Seldom Never 



Positive listening habits 

1. Do you show interest nonverbally? Through posture? 
Eye contact? Facial expressions? 

2. Do you try to figure out what the other person means 
from his or her point of view? 

3. Do you let the other person know you understand by 
restating in your own words what he or she said? 

4. Do you allow the other person time to correct anything 
you might have misinterpreted? 

5. Do you ask questions to draw out the other person and 
learn more about what was meant? 

Negative listening habits 

1. Do you interrupt while the speaker is talking? 

2. Do you fail to hear the other person because you are 
planning what to say as soon as you can get a word in? 

3. Are you thinking of yourself rather than about what the 
other person is saying? 

4. Do you answer with responses that show the other person 
that you do not listen or do not care about what is being 
said? 

5. Do you drift in and out of the conversation, listening only 
occasionally? 

6. Do you criticize, evaluate, or judge what the other person 
is saying? 

7. Do you busy yourself with obvious distractions while the 
other person is speaking? 

8. Do you misinterpret what the other person is saying? 

9. Do you give your meanings for words and events more 
merit than you do the other person's meanings? 

10. Do you simply give too little time and attention to the 
process? 

11 . Do your responses fail to show respect? 



ERIC 



217 



221 



Family Relations 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 



Communication Roadblocks 

Communication can be a very complex process. Many factors can interfere 
with whether or not a message is accurately sent and received. Sometimes we 
may not mean to block communication and we may not even realize that we're 
doing it. But sometimes our messages aren't being received, or when they are, 
they are coming across in a negative or destructive way. Here are some possible 
roadblocks: 



Stereotyping or Prejudice: 

Judging others before truly hearing them out. Prejudice clouds clear messages that you might 
receive. Also feelings that are biased can cause someone to send biased messages. 




Advising or Lecturing: 

This practice prevents one from showing respect and allowing others to express their own 
feelings. Even if you disagree with the sender, try to listen to the views of the sender. Check 
out and clarify their message, but don't interpret it by adding your own advice to their words. 



Threateningy Insulting^ or Attacking: 

This approach can create an atmosphere of hostility and defensiveness. 



Sarcasm: 

Don't say one thing when you mean another. People only get confused by people sending one 
message, while their words or body language says another. Statements that are sarcastic only 
make the receiver defensive and not responsive to the sender. 



Distracting: 

When someone does not give their full attention to the communication process, they miss the 
point of the communication. Likewise, saying or doing something that has nothing to do with 
the subject can be distracting to the sender. 



222 



Faniiiy Relations 



Developing Family Communication Patterns 




Things Kids Say 

That Are Guaranteed to Make Their Parents Seh Red!! 



Does your family use words as weapons? Certain words and phrases can be aimed right at family members- 
deepest fears, doubts, and worries. 

Strong families recognize and avoid these "loaded" words. They realize continued communication is more 
important than "winning" an argument or exerting power. 

Offered by Alex J. Packer. Ph.D.. not so you can use them, but so you can avoid them. You'll find even more 
useful tips in his book. Bringing Up Parents. 

You can 't tell me what to do. 

Of course they can. Whether you do what they tell you or not is another matter. The problem with this 
expression is that it instantly changes any argument into a power struggle between you and your parents 
What you really want to say is . . . ■> f ■ 

You can 't make me. 

That's more like it. If you're going to have a knock-down, drag-out power struggle, at least let it be over the 
correct issue. . . The fact that it gets harder and harder for them to make you do the things they wish and 
prevent you from doing the things they don't wish is the key to one of the great parent-teenager power 
struggles, which is exactly why you have to avoid using this expression. Better response: Try to meet your 
parents in the middle, where a compromise can be found. 

You just don 't understand. 

The ultimate dismissal. The problem is. if they don't understand now. they're not going to understand later 
Nothing will change unless you make it change. Betterresponse: work to improve ongoing communication 
so parents will understand your perspective. 

/ don't care. 

Oh yes you do. or you wouldn't have said you don't. What may escape you in the cloud of excessive blase 
you re trying to create is this: You can't win with "I don't care." Let's say your parents do believe you don't 
care. That gives them permission to do whatever they want. Now let's say they don't believe you They're 
tipped off to the fact that you do care, and they'll stick to their threat like peanut butter to vour gums Better 
response: wait a minute. I really do care. And explain why. 

Nothin. 

Like your parents' "We'll see." the word "nothin" means. "The last thing I want to do right now is answer 
your question." But anything is better than nothing. Better response: tell your parents about what's 
happening m your life. .They won't feel ignored and hurt. What they will feel is that you're sharing, confiding 
and communicating. *" 

From Bringing Up Parents by Alex J. PackcrPrD"o7y " t" "u!LTi"^In" i" "f"p" "hZ"c^ 

Minneapolis. Minn; (800) 735-7323. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ^ t^oiisning inc.. 

219 2^3 



[Family Rela^nsJ 


Developing Family Communication Patterns 


^ Ready! Set! Communicate! 

! Ynii ran set the context for communication by considering the things you will say 
5 and do to establish a particular mood. Read the situation in the first column In 

■ the next column, describe the factors you will consider as you communicate. Then 

■ write what you will say and do to establish the mood for effective communicaUon 

■ in the last two columns 




1 Situation 


Factors to consider 
before commumcating 


Verbal 


Nonverbal | 


■ The context you 

■ will try to set for the 
* communication 


Potential communication 
differences or barriers 


What would you say 
during the communication? 


V^at nonverbal actions f 
would you use during the ■ 
communication? ^ 


1 You're upset with your 
1 parents and you're 

■ going to try to confront 

■ the issue 






1 


! You want your sister 

■ to lend you something 

■ and she has never lent 
1 this item to you before 






1 • 


1 You want to ask your 

■ parents' permission to 

■ take a trip with some 

■ friends 








■ You had a big argu- 

■ ment with your 

■ grandmother and you 
1 want to make up 






1 


■ Your dauj^hter is really 

■ upset about something 

■ and you want to open 

■ her up to talk to you 






i 


■ You're extremely 

■ angry! Your mother 

, 1 wants to talk it out but 
1 you want to be left 
1 alone 






. J • 



ERIC 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Module Overview 



CCONTEOT jr 
MODULE P y 



Practical 

Problem: What should I do about family stress, conflicts, and crises? 

Competency 5.0.6: Deal effectively with family stressors, conflicts, and crises 



Competency 
Builders: 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



5.0.6.1 Identify potential sources of family stress, conflict, and crisis 
5.0.6.2 Identify indicators and consequences of family stress, conflict, and crisis 
5.0.6.3 Develop strategies for resolving family stress, conflict, and crisis 
5.0.6.4 Evaluate sources of formal and informal support available to families and family 
members 

5.0.6.5 Plan strategies to prevent or minimize stress, conflict, and crisis 



1 . Sources of stress, conflicts, and crises 

2. Signs and consequences 

3. Coping and managing techniques 

4. Support systems 



Teacher Background Information 

Rationale 

Families are constantly faced with challenges to the status quo. The dynamic tension between forces 
toward individuation and independence on the one hand and forces toward family cohesiveness and group 
identity on the other presents a constant source of stress. Each of the many family structure changes such 
as divorce, widowhood, and remarriage, is a potential stressor. In addition, many factors outside the 
family threaten to overwhelm or demoralize the family. Human families have always been challenged by 
threats to their safety and survival, to their structural organization, and to the integrity of their interper- 
sonal ties. The focus of contemporary research appears to be moving toward a greater understanding of 
how families cope with stress and conflict, and why some families appear better able than others to avoid 
disorganization and crisis (McKenry & Price, 1994). 

Background 

Any productive discussion of family stress, conflict, crisis, and coping requires the establishment of a 
common set of definitions. These words are part of the vocabulary of daily life so students will probably 



221 2Z6 




Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



C CONTENT /;"\ 
MODULE P J 



bring very different definitions to these terms. In order to discuss practical problems such as how to 
prevent, minimize, or resolve stress, it is useful to have a shared-vocabulary. 

Stress may be defined as a physical reaction that occurs in response to any demand from the environment, 
especially situations that create uncertainty (Selye, 1976). The demand is called the stressor, the reaction 
to the stressor is called stress. The body is prepared to respond to any demand with a stress response. 
The demand may be perceived as exciting, pleasant, and invigorating. This kind of demand is sometimes 
referred to as eustress. A demand may be perceived as threatening, unpleasant, or harmful. This kind of 
demand is usually referred to as distress. The distinction between eustress and distress depends on the 
way an event is perceived by the person. For example, one person may perceive the winter holidays as a 
time of social engagement, activity, and spiritual uplift; another person may perceive the same holidays 
as a time of loneliness, boredom, and depression. The meaning given to an event may depend on its 
timing, the historical context, the cultural beliefs surrounding the event, and other personal or family 
expectations. It would be a mistake to assume that any particular event is equally stressful to all who 
experience it. 

Although we are accustomed to thinking about stress as being the result of unpleasant or negative events, 
positive as well as negative events produce stress responses. Weddings, graduations, and promotions 
produce stress responses as do funerals, failing a course, or being fired. The stress response occurs in 
reaction to many day-to-day events like hearing the buzzer on the alarm, worrying about missing the bus, 
or getting an invitation to an important social event, as well as in reaction to major life events. In fact, 
you might say that stress is part of the excitement of living in an unpredictable, changing worid. Lack 
of change or tedium can itself be stressful if the person feels "trapped" in an environment that is not 
adequately challenging and stimulating, 

Reuben Hill (1958) provided a model for guiding the study of family stress and crisis, often referred to as 
the ABC-X model of family stress. In this model, A refers to the event or stressor. Any event that has the 
potential to change the family system or disrupt the status quo is a stressor. The event may or may not 
create stress depending on B, the family's resources and strengths at the time it encounters the stressor, 
and C, the meaning that the family makes of the event. In this model, it is important to recognize that 
stressor events have no predetermined impact on the family. The impact depends on the interaction of A, 
B, and C, 



Boss (1987) offered a classification of stressor events that highlights the wide range of conditions that 
have the potential for bringing about change in families and provides a more differentiated view of A in 
the ABC-X model (see Table 1 ), Stressor events are commonly differentiated by whether they are 
normative and developmental, meaning that most people experience these changes and they appear to be 
related to the natural unfolding pattern of change associated with growth; or some type of environmental 
disaster suggesting that the change is unexpected, not experienced by most people, and brought about by 
forces clearly outside the person's control. The concept of volition has been given a significant place in 
understanding the nature of stress, A change, whether positive or negative, that appears to be within the 
family's control, has a different meaning and may be perceived as less stressful, than one which is im- 
posed by outside forces. 



222 2£(; 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Table 1 

Classification of Stressor Events 




(CONTENT g: 
MODULE O J 



TYPE: 

Maturational Situational 

Normative Disaster 

Developmental Environmental 

Predictable Unexpected 

Volitional Nonvolitional 

SOURCE: 

Inside the family Outside the family 

SEVERITY: 

Chronic Acute 

Mild Severe 

Isolated Cumulative^ 

(m.ultiple problems) 

Source: Boss, P. (1987). Family stress. In M. B. Sussman & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.). Handbook of 
Marriage and the Family. New York: Plenum, p. 699. 



The concept of the stressor event was elaborated further to emphasize that any single stressor occurs 
within the context of the family's past experiences. Furthermore, the consequences of the stressor often 
add additional challenges to the family's ability to cope (McCubbin & Patterson, 1983; Olson & 
McCubbin, 1983). For example, a child might be seriously injured while participating in an athletic 
event. However, this stressor may have been preceded by very high hopes that the child would be eligible 
for an athletic scholarship to college. Much of the family's time and significant resources may have been 
devoted to developing the child's athletic skills to a highly competitive level. And after the injury, the 
medical bills, the lack of contact with team members, the lost chance of the scholarship, and the pain and 
suffering associated with rehabilitation would constitute a "pile up" of stressors which may intensify the 
family's experience of stress. 

Research on family strengths discussed in Module 5.0.5 provides greater detail when considering B, the 
family's resources. Resources can be considered individually, looking at the skills, talents, finances, 
earning power, and physical and mental health of each family member, and at the resources of the family 
as a group, such as their combined financial resources, their sense of cohesiveness, their capacity for 
cooperation and problem solving, their social support system, and their level of flexibility in adapting to 
change. The availability of resources does not always mean that they will be used. Sometimes, the 
family's definition of the stressor prevents calling into play certain available resources. 



223 

227 




Dealing with Stress^ Conflicts^ and Crises 



CONTENT 
MOPIJLE^ J 

Research on the third element in the model, C, the perception of the event, introduces the psychological 
perspective, especially the meaning the individuals and family group makes of the stressor. In the face of 
a stressor, the person makes a cognitive appraisal of the potential harm or threat of the situation and has 
an emotional reaction to the situation. The combination of these cognitive and emotional processes 
influences the kinds of coping behaviors that will be called into play (Lazarus, 1991). Three kinds of 
coping strategies are guided by this process, direct actions that might alter the nature of the stressor or 
reduce its harmful or disruptive effects (putting bars on the windows and locks on the doors to prevent 
theft); intrapsychic coping strategies that alter the way the stressor is evaluated (adopting a more fatalistic 
outlook which says you have to learn to accept certain things that cannot be prevented); and coping 
strategies that change or control the emotional impact of the stressor (learning relaxation techniques to 
help control anxiety when you are faced with a potential threat). 

Family values play a major role in determining C, the meaning of an event, for the family. For example. 
Boss (1987) discusses the implications of having a mastery orientation versus a fatalistic orientation, in 
coping with stress. The mastery orientation suggests that the family believes it has a great deal of control 
over its fate and can solve its problems, whatever they are. A fatalistic orientation suggests a view that 
many events are outside one's control, whether predestined by a higher power, mystically guided, or the 
result of cultural and environmental forces over which one is helpless. These two outlooks will influence 
how families define a stressor event, the extent to which they mobilize resources to address the event, and 
how much stress they eventually experience. 

The combination of the stressor, event (and often the accumulation of stressors), the resources, and the 
meaning of the event, determine the severity of the stress response and whether the family is able to cope 
or becomes disorganized and falls into crisis. Coping is usually viewed as an adaptation to the stress in 
which new solutions are identified, old responses are modified to be more effective, and the family 
achieves a new level of functioning. Coping means that the stressor has resulted in some type of change, 
and normally the term suggests that the direction of the change is toward new growth. Effective coping 
strategies serve to promote the continued physical and emotional health of family members and to pre- 
serve the adaptive, functional relationships within the family as a group. 

In contrast to coping, the outcome of extreme stress can result in crisis or what some family scientists 
refer to as disorganization. During this period, the family's former coping strategies are inadequate to 
reduce the threat of the stressor and the family's sense of closeness, affection, effective interdependence, 
and adaptive flexibility deteriorate. Some of the common indicator? of a family in crisis are as follows: 

• Family members can no longer perform their expected roles. 

• Boundaries between family members are blurred. 

• Outsiders are required to perform family functions. 

• Family members cannot make decisions or solve problems that face the family. 

• Family members become withdrawn, neglectful, and/or abusive toward one another. 

Families may experience long periods of stress; they may undergo prolonged periods when they do not 
have the resources to meet the demands they face or when they have to keep modifying their structure to 




Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 




C CONTENT g: "\ 
MODULE ^ J 



adapt to a pile-up of stressors. However, these conditions are not the same as a crisis, a situation in which 
the farnily structure seems to fall apart and the family members become immobilized. 

Family crises are typically viewed as turning points or critical transitions (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991). 
In order to recover from crisis and move toward a new, higher level of functioning, families need to 
engage in new coping strategies. Often this requires making use of resources outside the family. Most 
families" turn to other close relatives, friends, or colleagues at work who have experienced a similar crisis 
and who can validate one*s hopes about building new strengths to meet the crisis. Support groups or self- 
help groups are often an important source of social support. These kinds of groups have formed to help 
family members cope with a wide range of challenges including alcoholism, child abuse, death of a child, 
coping with children who have severe mental or emotional disabilities, coping with gifted children, and 
caring for partners or parents with Alzheimer's disease. 

The crisis often forces family members to recognize that they do not have all the skills and resources 
necessary to handle the challenges they face. The crisis may uncover other problems in the family, such 
as problems in communication, intimacy, parent-child relationships, or gender-role expectations, that 
need to be addressed in order for the family to move ahead. Family members may turn to other experts 
such as marriage and family therapists, psychologists, financial management advisors, or social workers 
to help overcome these problems and begin to establish a new, more adaptive family organization. 



References 

Boss, P. (1987). Family stress. In M. B. Sussman & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.). Handbook of Marriage and 
the Family. New York: Plenum, p. 695-723. 

Hill, R. (1958). Generic features of families under stress. Social Casework, 49, 139-150. 

Lamanna, M. A., & Riedmann, A. (1991). Marriages and families: Making choices and facing change 
(4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 

Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

McCubbin, H. L, & Patterson, J. M. (1983). Family stress and adaptation to crisis: A double ABC-X 
model of family behavior. In D. H. Olson & B. C. Miller (Eds.). Family Studies Review Yearbook Vol. 
1. Beverly Hills, C A: Sage, p. 87-106. 

McKenry, P. C, & Price, S. J. (1994). Families and change: Coping with stressful events. Thousand 
Oaks, CA: Sage. 




Olson, D. H., & McCubbin, H. I. (1983). Families: What makes them work? Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. 



Selye,H.(1976). The stress of life (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. 



Dealing with Stress^ Conflicts^ and Crises 



C COIOTENT 
MODULE P J 

Learning Activities 

1. Sources a. Using classroom resources, define ^rre^^. View A Model of Stress (p. 234). In 

of stress, pairs, identify the top ten things that cause day-to-day stress in families. Se- 

conflicts, quence the items on your list from those events that cause the most stress to 

and crises those that cause the least amount of stress. Compare your list to Top Ten 

Family Stressors (p. 235). Identify examples of each type of stress on the list. 

Discussion Questions 

• Why should you be concerned about the effect of stress on families? 

• Why is it important for fatnilies to learn how to deal with stress? 

• What are the consequences when families have trouble dealing with stress? 




b. Read Family Crises (p. 236). In Family Relations Research Teams, choose an 
example of a family crisis and explore statistics regarding the extent to which 
families experience the crisis, the ways family members often react to the crisis, 
strategies for dealing with or coping with the crisis, and resources for support. 
Your research and reports of your findings should continue throughout this 
module. 

Discussion Questions 

• How can crises be a source of stress for families? 

• Would certain types of crises cause more stress than others? Why or why not? 

• How are the examples of crises identified on the handout similar to or different 
from the everyday stressors identified in Activity la? 



Teacher Note: Each cooperative group should choose a different type of crisis 
and research and present information as the following aspects are discussed 
throughout the module learning activities: the crisis and its consequences, 
coping and managing techniques, and support systems. Help students choose 
topics that are of interest to them and represent crises faced by families in the 
community. 

: — ^ 



c. Design a "Problem Box.** Write family situations (real or imaginary) related to 
family stress, crises, and conflict, and put them in the problem box. Throughout 
your study of family crises, conflict, and stress, choose problems from the box 
and answer the following questions about that problem. 



( 1 ) What is the problem in this situation? 

(2) How is this problem affecting the family? Society? 



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226 



Dealing with Stress^ Conflicts^ and Crises 




C CONTENT /-A 
MODULE ^ J 



(3) What factors should be considered before deciding what to do about this 
problem? 

(4) What information is needed to solve the problem? Where can you get this 
information? 

(5) What choices aie available? What are the consequences of these choices? 

(6) What action should be taken that will result in the most positive conse- 
quences for the family? 

• (7) What resources will the family need to carry out the solution to this 
problem? 

d. Collect current newspaper articles that deal with family stress, conflict, and 
crises. Periodically throughout this unit, choose one of the articles and write an 
entry about the topic in your journal. Use the questions below to guide your 
reflection. 

(1) What is the source of crises or stress in the article? 

(2) What are the consequences of the problem described in this article? 

(3) What would you do about this problem? Why? 



Teacher Note: Cooperative groups should create displays of newspaper 
articles about their chosen family crisis. 



e. Read Stress and the Family (p. 237-238). Complete the questions below about 
the reading. In pairs, share your response to the questions and add any additional 
information you did not originally include. 

(1) What causes stress, conflict, or crises in a family? 

(2) How does stress impact each family member? 

(3) Why do stressful situations effect people differently? 

(4) How can stressful situations strengthen the family? 

Signs and a. In Family Relations Research Teams, use classroom resources to research 
consequences indicators of stress. Compile your findings in a chart classifying each indicator 
as physical, emotional, social, or intellectual. Form new groups with each group 
member having been in a different cooperative group, and compare your charts, 
adding information you do not have on your own chart. Compare your charts to 
Stress Indicators (p. 239). Identify those indicators present when you experi- 
ence stress in your life. 



227 2 3 1 




Dealing with Stress, Conflicts^ and Crises 



C CONTENT gr ^ 
MODULE P J 



Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to be aware of stress indicators? 

• Are some indicators more severe than others? Why or why not? 

• Which of these signs of stress have you seen in family members? 



b. FHA/HERO: Invite a family counselor to class to discuss the consequences of 
family stress. In listening teams, choose one of the topics below, develop a series 
of questions to ask the speaker with regard to that topic, and summarize the 
speaker's comments on the topic after the presentation. 

(1) Symptoms families experience when under stress 

(2) Consequences of long-term, unmanaged stress on families 

(3) Healthy responses to stress 

Discussion Questions 

• Why does change in our life create stress? 

• What can be done to lessen the effects of stress? 

• How does unmanaged stress affect family members? At work? In communi- 
ties? 



3. Coping and a. View Adjustment to Crisis (p. 240). Identify examples of how families proceed 
managing through this model when coping with a crisis, 

techniques 

b. Interview a member of a family who has recently experienced a crisis using the 
questions below. Share findings with the class regarding how the family's 
experience reflects the adjustment to crisis model and strategies the family used 
to deal with the crisis. 



( 1 ) What event caused the crisis situation? 

(2) How long did it take the family to resolve the crisis? 

(3) Were family members able to organize their thoughts to determine exactly 
what needed to be done about the problem? If so, what plans did the family 
make to resolve the situation? 

(4) Did family members seek help from others? 

(5) What resources did the family use to deal with the crisis? 

View Coping with Crisis (p. 241). Use classroom resources and the findings 
from your interviews in the previous activity to identify various strategies for 
coping with stress, conflict, and crises. Develop a chart of these various strate- 
gies, indicating the consequences of using each strategy and the context in which 
each strategy might be effective. 

228 



ERIC 



Dealing with Stress^ Conflicts^ and Crises 




C CONTENT g- "\ 
MODULE ^ J 

d. In Family Relations Research Teams, research coping strategies for the specific 
crisis situation you choose in Activity lb. Use the practical problem-solving 
process to choose an effective coping strategy and develop a plan to effectively 
deal with the crisis situation. Share your solution with the class. Justify your 
decision. 

Discussion Questions 

• How did you decide which coping techniques were best for this crisis situa- 
tion? 

• How do the coping strategies you suggested help the family deal with the stress 
brought on by the crisis? 

• What would happen if the strategies you have identified were not used to cope 
withjhe crisis? 

e. FHA/HERO: Organize a Star Event team on the topic "Coping with Crisis." 
Perform your presentation for community or school groups in preparation for 
competing at the regional or state level. 

f. Use classroom resources to define conflict^ and review Resolving an Issue 
(p. 56). Explain how families involved in stress and crisis situations might 
experience conflict and how the process described on the handout could be used 
to resolve such conflicts. 

g. FHA/HERO: Research peer mediation programs available in your own school 
or other schools. Involve members in peer mediation training or in establishing a 
peer mediation program at your school if one does not already exist. Explain 
how these skills can be used in families facing stress and crisis. 

h. Use classroom resources to describe the types of relaxation techniques below. 
For each method, indicate when you would use this technique and how effective 
it would be in helping you to relax. Use Tension and Relaxation Exercises 

(p. 242) to practice progressive relaxation. Discuss the effect of these t'ichnicjues 
on individuals, families, and society. 

(1) Deep breathing 

(2) Imagery 

(3) Progressive relaxation 

i. FHA/HERO: Use one of the imagery exercises on Total Relaxation Tech- 
niques (p. 243) to help chapter members relax before or after a chapter meeting. 
Play relaxing music to enhance the relaxing atmosphere during the exercise. 
Survey chapter members to determine their feelings before and after the exercise. 

§^3 




Dealing with Stress, Conflicts^ and Crises 



C CONTENT 
MODULE P J 



j. Action Project: Keep a record of stressful events in your life and how you cope 
with them. Make a chart indicating the event, the source of stress, stress indica- 
tors, and your response to the stress. Evaluate the impact of your coping mecha- 
nisms on you, your family, and your friends. 



4. Support a. View Family Support Systems (p. 244). On a sheet of paper, draw a circle and 

systems label it *Tamily Support System." On lines drawn out from the circle, identify 

family, community, and employment-related sources of support for your family. 
In pairs, share your family support system diagrams and note the wide range of 
support available to families. 

Discussion Questions 

•Do strong families need support systems? Why or why not? 

• How do these support systems help families deal with stress, conflict, or crisis? 

• How might a family* s support system change over the family life cycle? 

• What are the consequences for families who have inadequate support systems? 



b. In small groups, read each situation below and determine what sources of support 
you would seek in that situation. Identify information you would need to contact 
sources of support or to explain the situation to a support person or organization. 

(1) When you come home from school one day, you find your mother's face 
black and blue. Her lip is swollen and she seems to be moving around stiffly. 
You are aware that your parents argue regularly, and that your father has hit 
her sometimes, but you have never r.ctn it this severe. 

(2) Your younger sister has been depressed lately and stays in her room most of 
the day. When you are able to talk with her, she shares that she is thinking of 
ending it all. 

. (3) You and your mother are having difficulty making ends meet. At the end of 
the month, you often have little or no money left for food. Last month, your 
mother missed the rent payment and the two of you are in danger of losing 
your apartment. 

(4) Your younger brother has been skipping school a lot lately. His behavior is 
unpredictable, alternating between upbeat and active to being down and 
depressed. When you are cleaning the room you share, you find what 
appears to be drugs. 

(5) Your family is trying to find activities to do together that are low in cost. 

(6) Your family is trying to cope with the sudden death of a grandparent. 



Discussion Questions 

• What criteria did you use to determine whether or not the source of help would 
he appropriate for each situation ? 



ERIC 



230 



34 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



C CONTENT g- ^ 
MODULE O J 

• Are internal sources of support appropriate for these situations? Why or why 
not? 

• Why is an awareness of support important to strong families? 

c. In Family Relations Research Teams, make a poster illustrating specific sources 
of support for the crisis situation you selected in Activity lb. Display the posters 
in the classroom. 




d. Review Barriers to Seeking and Getting Support (p. 245). 
Discussion Questions 

• Which barriers would you be most likely to experience? 

• Which would be most difficult to overcome? 

• What skills do you need to overcome these barriers? 



FHATHERO: Develop a brochure of community services that support families. 
Include information on services provided, contact person, phone number, ad- 
dress, and population served. Make the brochure available to families in your 
community. Invite community leaders to a chapter meeting to discuss possible 
family support services missing from your community. Generate possible 
solutions for these missing services. As a chapter, assist local leaders in taking 
action to fill family service gaps. 

Discussion Questions 

• What are the strengths in your community in terms of support for families? 

• Wfiat barriers may be present to keep people from seeking help through these 
resources? 

• How can you and others break down these barriers? 

• What types of community support are missing? 

• What can you do as a chapter to foster the development of appropriate commu- 
nity support for families? 



f. Read Telephone Hotlines to Help with Family Crises (p. 246). In small 

groups, choose one of the hotlines, call the organization that sponsors the hotline 
and determine the services and information the hotline provides. Report your 
findings to the class. 



Teacher Note: Hotline numbers are principally designed for emergency calls. 
Encourage students to phone the organization information number during 
regular business hours to determine the services and information the hotline 
provides. 




231 



23d 




Dealing with Stress^ Conflicts^ and Crises 



g. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook summarizing your ideas about 
family stress and crises. Use the questions below to guide your reflection. 

(1) What sources of stress will you most likely experience in your fiiture family? 

(2) What crises will you most likely experience? 

(3) What coping strategies will you most likely use to deal with these stresses and 
crises? ^ 

(4) What sources of support will you most likely use? 

h. FHA/HERO: Choose a family crisis situation of interest to your chapter and 
sponsor a school awareness program on that particular crisis. Invite a panel of 
speakers from community agencies to discuss what is available to families experi- 
encing this type of crisis. Display information posters and distribute brochures 
about this crisis to students at your school. 

i Action Project: Volunteer at a community agency that serves families. Keep a 
journal about your experiences and write a report summarizing the value of this 
agency in helping families that face stress, conflict, and crises. 

j. FHA/HERO: Adopt a community agency that serves families and provide 
volunteer services and assistance to this organization. Meet with leaders of the 
organization to determine how your chapter can help. Then organize appropriate 
projects. 

Assessment 

Paper and Pencil 

1 . Without the aid of references, identify at least five potential sources of family stress, conflict, and 
crisis. 

2. Without the aid of references, identify at least three indicators and consequences of family stress, 
conflict, and crisis. 

3. Given related information, develop at least five strategies for resolving family stress, conflict, and 
crisis. 

4. Without the aid of references, evaluate at least two sources of formal and informal support available to 
families and family members. 

5. Given case studies, plan strategies to prevent or minimize stress, conflict, and crisis. 



232 



2ob 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



C CONTENT gi A 
MODULE O J 

Classroom Experiences 

1 . Collect current newspaper articles that deal with family stress, conflict, and crises. Choose one of the 
articles and write a journal entry about the topic describing the source of conflict or stress, the conse- 
quences of the problem, and what you would do about this problem. 

2. In cooperative learning groups, choose an example of a family crisis and explore statistics regarding 
the extent to which families experience the crisis, the ways family members often react to the crisis, 
strategies for dealing with or coping with the crisis, and resources for support. Research and report 
your findings. 

3. In cooperative learning groups, use classroom resources to research indicators of stress. Compile 
your findings in a chart classifying each indicator as physical, emotional, social, or intellectual. 

4. Use classroom resources to identify various strategies for coping with stress, conflict, and crises. 
Develop a chart of these various strategies, indicating the consequences of using each strategy and the 
context in which each strategy might be effective. 

5. In cooperative learning groups, choose a family crisis and use the practical problem-solving process 
to choose an effective coping strategy. Develop a plan to effectively deal with the crisis situation. 
Share your solution with the class. Justify your decision. 

6. In small groups, read crisis situations and determine what sources of support you would seek in each 
situation. Identify information you would need to contact a source of support or explain the situation 
to a support person or organization. 

7. In small groups, choose a hotline that provides services to families in crisis, call the organization and 
determine the services and information the hotline provides. Report your findings to the class. 

Application to Real-life Settings 

1 . Keep a record of stressful events in your life and how you cope with them. Make a chart indicating 
the event, the source of stress, stress indicators, and your response to the stress. Evaluate the impact 
of your coping mechanisms on you, your family, and your friends. 

2. Volunteer at a community agency that serves families. Keep a journal about your experiences and 
write a report summarizing the value of this agency in helping families that face stress, conflict, and 
crises. 




2237 




Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



A Model of Stress 

Life involves change; change brings stress. Stress, potential stress, and crises are nearly 
unavoidable. Family stress can be defined as "an upset in the isteady state of the family." 
Since all families undergo periods of stress, the ability to predict stressful periods, to 
understand the signs, and to learn to cope are crucial skills. Strong families are more 
successful in adapting to stress. The research model developed by Olson and McCubbin in 
1983 is useful because it addresses important components of stress. 



ABOX Stress Model 
A = Stressors and stressor plleup 

Normative or developmental 
External or internal 
Short-term or long-term 
Stressors with and without norms 



B = Resources 

Structural 
Economic 
Educational 



Deflnltlon of problem or perception 
of stressor plleup 



X = Outcome 



ERLC 



234 



238 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Top Ten Family Stressors 





1 . Economics/Finances/Budgeting 

2. Children !s Behavior/Discipline/Sibling 
Fighting 

3. Insufficient Couple Time 

4. Lack of Shared Responsibility in the Family 

5. Communicating with Children 

6. Insufficient "Me'' Time 

7. Guilt for Not Accomplishing More 

8. Spousal Relationship ( Communication, 
Friendship, Sex) 

9. Insufficient Family Playtime 

10. Overscheduled Family Calendar 



ERIC 



V..— ...„...„.„„.„„.„.„„^ 

Source: Dolores Curran. Parent Educator and Author. Reprinted from Stress and the Healthy Family, HarperSanFrancisco, 1985. 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Family Crises 

A crises is defined as . . . 

a crucial change in the course of events, a turning point, an unstable condition in 

Lamanna, M. A., & Riedmann, A. (1991). Marriages and Families: Making 
Choices and Facing Change 



This definition of crises means that . . . 

(1) Crises necessarily involve change. 

(2) A crisis is a turning point with the potential for positive or negative effects or 
both. 

(3) A crisis is a time of relative instability. 

Most people face some stress or crises during their lives. Their success depends on the 
means by which they are able to cope with these situations. 



Examples of Crises Faced by Familii 

• Unemployment 

• Frequent moves 

• Divorce 

• Remarriage 

• Alcohol or drug abuse 

• Mental breakdown 

• Family violence 

• Handicapped family member 

• Criminal attack 

• Birth of a child 

• Death 

• Financial loss 

• Serious illness or accident 

• Natural disaster 

• Stepparenting 

• Retirement 

• House or business destroyed by fire 



include. . . 




s 



236 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



id 

ERIC 



Pagae 1 of 2 



Stress and the Family 



The close, personal relationships among family members and the close proximity in which members 
exist cause stress to spread from one member to the family as a whole. In general, if one member is 
affected by stress, other members are also affected. Managing stress, then, becomes a major task in 
preventing family problems. 

Families are involved in the process of stress in several ways. Family action may be a stressor. That 
is, the behaviors and actions of the family as a whole cause stress. The stress may be in individual 
members or in the family as a whole. The resultant behavior (s) may also be reflected from one 
member to another or from the family to society and the world as a whole. 

Families also function as recipients to stress from outside the family. The outside stressor acts on the 
family as a whole or on individual family members who then act on the family. Either way, stress 
within the family occurs and results in particular behavior. 



Stressor 



Stress Outcome/ResuU of Stress 



over which TV 
show to watch 



Family and 




the individual 


causes ^ 


members 




within 





Individual 



reactions 



Stressor 



Child is taken 

into a public 
detention center 
for being drunk 



Frustration, irritaion, anger, 
physical abuse reflected from 
one family member to another 

General anger of family 
generated to all of society 



Stress Oukome/Kesult of Stres5i 



acts upon 



Individual 



causes 



and disorderly 



Family 



Various 

bodily 

reactions 



Anger 

Hostility 

Depression 



Family Reactions to Stress and Stressors 

Families differ in their reactions to stress. Some families are challenged by stress. Other families live 
in fear of their own stress reactions. The differences in behavior from family to family are based on 
perception, tolerance, and skill. 



^1 ■■■■■■■■ co;i//;jM^d ^ 

Reproduced from S. R. Jorgenscn and G. H. Henderson. Dimensions of Family Life, Cincinnati, OH, with the permission of South-Western 
Educational Publishing* a division of International Thompson Publishing Inc. Copyright © 1 990by South-Western Educational Publishing, 
All rights reserved. 

237 

241 




Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



e 



Page 2 of 2 



Stress and the Family (continued) 

Perception, How events or stressors are interpreted will affect resultant stress. If stress is to occur, 
the family members must perceive the situation as stressful in the first place. For example, one 
family may consider unemployment or unpaid bills a cause of stress. Other families may consider 
these situations typical and not stress-producing. 

A family's feelings about a particular stressor depend on its belief system. If family members 
consider family life unrewarding and dull, each new stressor will be viewed in that context. Each 
new occurrence will be seen as adding new stress to an already troubled situation. Yet, if family life 
is seen as challenging, meaningful, and rewarding, stressors will be viewed less severely. 

Tolerance. Stress tolerance is the capacity to withstand the stressor. It is also the amount of stress 
the family can withstand before their abilities are seriously impaired. Some families can withstand 
multiple stressors and not show much stress. Another family becomes extremely stressful over one 
seemingly minor stressor. One family may become overwrought and hyperactive to the point of 
severe physical illness with only minor stress. Tolerance levels for stress in another family may be 
high with large amounts of stress operating without serious problems. 

Skills. Some families have many skills and resources to overcome the stress process, while other 
families have few skills, resources, and assistance. The ways in which a family views its own skills 
are also important. If a family feels confident and expects to solve its problems, the stress will be 
less severe than if they feel defeated and at the mercy of the stressor. 



Family Stress Factors 

There are several factors or principles that relate to stress and/or stressors: 

• The more important the event (stressor), the greater the stress that is felt (for example, death, 
severe crippling, or a major illness). 

• Events that occur suddenly or unexpectedly cause a greater feeling of stress (for example, a 
cyclone or unexpected death). 

• The longer an event takes place, the greater will be the stress (for example, unemployment or 
alcoholism). 

• The more simultaneous the stressful events, the greater will be the stress (for example, a house 
fire, a car accident, and the death of a relative occurring at the same time.) 

• The likelihood of stress is greater during a period of change (for example, relocating, new job, 
or new school). 



ERIC 



242 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Stress Indicators 



Physicul or Benaviorui 




Accident proneness 


Hyper motility (can t be still) 


Alcohol or drug abuse 


Incoordination 


Allergies 


Indigestion 


Appetite (loss or increase) 


Insomnia 


Aithritis 


Low resistance to infection and 


Asthma 


minor illness 


Backaches 


Migraine or tension headaches 


Breathing difficulties 


Muscle tightness; face, jaws. 


(hyperventilating, shallow, 


back of neck, shoulders, etc. 


shortness of breath) 


Nausea or vomiting 


Chest tightness 


Nightmares 


Cholesterol high 


Numb or tingling extremities 


Colitis 


Overeating 


Constipation 


Pounding and rapid heart beat 


Cramps 


Premenstrual cramps or tension 


Diarrhea 


Pupils dilate 


Dizziness 


onaKing 


Dry mouth 


Skin pale 


Eye pain 


Sleeping too much 


Eye squinting 


Sighing 


Face downcast 


Slumped posture 


Face flushed 


Sneezing 


Fainting spells 


Speech slowed 


Fatigue 


Stiffness or soreness 


Fingernail biting 


Stomach ailments (aches. 


Forehejad, raised and wrinkled 


butterflies, gas,.ulcer) 


Frowning 


Stuttering 


Gait slowed 


Sweating or sweaty palms 


Grimacing 


Tearfulness 


Grinding teeth 


Tiredness 


Hair twisting 


Trembling, tics, twitching 


Hands cold 


Urinating frequently 


Hay fever 


Voice (change in pitch. 


Heart pounding or racing 


volume shaky) 


High blood pressure 


Weakness, especially in legs 


Hives, rash, itching 


Weight gain or loss 




Emotional or Social 
Agitation 

Anger or angry outbursts 
Anxiousness (general or 

specific) 
Critical of self 
Crying 
Depression 

Difficulty in relationships 
Dread 

Emotional instability 
Fear of groups or crowds 
Fears (general or 

specific) 
Guilt feelings 
Hyper excitability 
Impulsive behavior 
Indecisive 
Irritability 
Jealousy 

Lack of initiative 

Loss of interest in living 

Loss of self-esteem 

Moodiness 

Restlessness 

Sadness 

Suspiciousness 

Withdrawal from 

relationships 
Worthlessness feeling 



Intellectual 




Concentration difficulties 


Loss of creativity 


Errors in judging distance 


Loss of productivity 


Errors in language (grammar. 


Mental blocking 


enunciation, pronunciation) 


Over attention to details 


Errors in use of numbers 


Past oriented rather than 


Fantasy life increased (escape) 


present or future 


Fantasy life lessened 


Perfectionism 


Forgetfulness 


Rumination 


Inattention 


Thoughts of death or suicide 


Lack of attention to details 


Worrying 


Lack of awareness to external events 





239 243 




Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Adjustment to Crisis 



The diagram below illustrates the path a family might take when adjusting to a crisis. Each of the 
following stages are part of the model. 

1 . Denial: Following the crisis event, the family maintains the istatus quo before accepting the 



2. Disorganization Period: During this phase, the family realizes the crisis, and may attempt to 
deal with it. Their efforts, however, may not be effective. Family members may experience 
decreased self-esteem and isolation. 

3. Maximum Disorganization: The family fully realizes the effects of the crisis. No efforts to deal 
with the crisis have been successful thus far. Substance abuse or.family violence can occur at 
this phase as a result of the extreme stress experienced by family members. 

4. Temporary Recovery: The family begins to identify and try out effective coping strategies. 
New patterns of behavior are attempted with some positive results. Resources are utilized. 

5. Reorganization Recovery: The family recovers from the crisis, entering a new reality. 



cnsis. 



Crisis Event 
X 



1. Denial 



2. Disorganization 
Period 




4. Temporary Recovery 



5« Reorganization 
Recovery 



V 



3« Maximum 
Disorganization 



Source: Dr. Susan S. Coady, College of Human Ecology, The Ohio State University. 



240 



ERIC 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Coping with Crisis 



□ Ask what changes have taken place. 

□ Identify how the family is affected. 

□ Use good communication skills. 

□ Seek professionals who can provide information. 



□ Ask what can be done to handle the changes. 

□ Keep a tolerant attitude. 

□ Don't blame others for the problem. 

□ Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol as coping behavior. 

□ Be open and flexible. 

□ Look for a solution that benefits all family members. 

□ Identify available resources in the family and in the community. 



3v Bt^^ 

□ Set aside quiet uninterrupted times to talk. 

□ Share thoughts and feelings openly. 

□ Accept each other's thoughts and feelings. 

□ Encourage each other. 

□ Take time for family leisure activities. 



4 Einphai^^^ growth for individual family members. 

□ Encourage all members to keep on growing. 

□ Keep involved with friends and community. 

□ Set goals for the future. 

□ Make plans to reach personal and family goals. 




Source: Lcona Johnson. Strengthening Family and Self. Chicago, IL: The Goodhcart-Wilcox Company Jnc, 1994. 

241 



245 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Tension and Relaxation Exercises 



Muscle Area 



Hands 

Upper arm 

Lower arm 

Forehead 

Eyes 
Jaws 
Tongue 

Mouth 

Neck 

Neek and jaws 

Shoulders 

Chest 

Abdomen 

Back 

Thighs 

Legs 

Legs 



Tension Location 



Clench and relax, right then left-then both 
fists. 

Bend elbows and fingers of both hands to 
your shoulders and tense the biceps. Relax. 

Holding both arms straight out, stretch, 
extend hands up, then down. Relax. 

Wrinkle the forehead and lift the eyebrows 
upward. Relax. 

Close the eyes tightly. Relax. 

Clench jaws. Relax. 

Bring your tongue upward and press it against 
the roof of your mouth-feel tension. Relax. 

Press our lips tightly together-feel tension. 
Relax. 

Press your head backward. Roll to right and 
back; roll to the left and back, straighten. 
Relax. 

Bend the head forward. Press the chin 
against the chest, straighten. Relax. 

Bring the shoulders up toward ears shrug and 
move around. Relax. 

Take a deep breath slowly-hold it for five 
seconds-exhale slowly. Relax. 

Tighten stomach muscles, make the abdomen 
muscles hard. Relax. 

Pull shoulders back-arch back from chair. 
Relax. 

Press heels down hard, flex thighs. Relax. 



Hold both legs straight out-point your toes 
away from your face. Relax. 

Hold both legs straight out-point your toes 
toward your head. Relax. 

Feel the relaxation and breathe easily. 



Tensing Instructions 



The back of your hands and your wrists 

The bicep muscles 

The upper portion of the forearm 

The entire forehead area 

The eyelids 
The jaw 

The area in and around the tongue 
The region around the mouth 



The muscles in the back of the neck and 
at the base of the scalp, right and left 
side of the neck 

The muscles in the front of the neck 
and around the jaws 

The muscles of the shoulders and the 
lower part of the neck 

The entire chest area 



The entire abdominal region 



Lower back 



The muscles in the lower part of the 
thighs 

The muscles of the calf 



The muscles below the kneecap 



ERIC 



242 



246 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Total Relaxation Techniques 




; My clouds in it. As you picture the clear blue sky, feel that your 
body i»-^j|si^^S^^Pf§^^^ ^y^s and keep the image of the blue sky in your mind. There are 
no limit§^^81l]ilirs^ endlessly in every direction, never beginning and never ending. 

As you visualize the blue sky, feel that your body has become so light that you have floated up into 
the clear blue sky. Feel that you are floating in the sky and that all tension, fatigue, worry, and 
problems have left you. Relax your mind and allow your breathing to seek its own level . Feel yourself 
floating gently in the clear blue sky which stretches endlessly in every direction, never beginning and 
never ending. 

After several minutes have passed and you feel yourself relaxing, picture that your entire body is 
merging with the blue sky. Your body is merging with the peace of the blue sky . . .Your mind is 
merging with the tranquillity of the blue sky . . .Feel that you have actually become the blue sky. You 
no longer have a body or a mind. You have become the infinite blue sky that stretches endlessly in 
every direction, never beginning and never ending. Feel that you have become the perfect peace and 
tranquillity of the blue sky. Completely let go and experience total relaxation. 

When you feel that you have relaxed for as long as you like, then open your eyes. You will now have 
a new deeper sense of relaxation. This renewed calm will stay with you as you resume your normal 
activities. 




Imagine a vast ocean. The dceanis filled with hundreds and thousands of waves. Feel that you are 
part of the ocean. Imagine that each wave in the ocean is slowly moving through you. As each wave 
passes through you, feel that all worries, tensions, anxieties, and problems are being washed away in 
the successive waves. For several minutes, imagine wave after wave passing through you. Feel that 
each wave that passes through increases the amount of relaxation you feel. 

Now imagine that you are going beneath the surface of the ocean. The surface of the ocean is filled 
with many waves, but below the surface, in the depths, all is calm, silent, and serene. Imagine yourself 
sinking slowly into the quiet, peaceful depths of the ocean. Here there is only calmness and 
tranquillity. As you imagine yourself going deeper and deeper into the depths of the ocean, feel that 
peace is entering into you . Feel that the deeper you go into the inner ocean, the more calm you become. 
Feel that there is no end to the depths of this ocean. It goes on endlessly. Imagine yourself sinking 
deeper and deeper into the endless ocean, feeling more calm and tranquillity filling your entire being 
until you have become completely relaxed. 



ERLC 



Source: Unknown. 



243 



247 



Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Family Support Systems 




Internal Support Systems 

Family members 
Friends 
Neighbors 
Extended family 
Shared child care 
Shared assistance 

Community Support Systems 

Clergy and church support groups 
Self-help programs 
After school programs 
Group sponsored activities 
Social service agencies 
Non-profit agencies organized around specific causes 
Private counseling services 
Physicians and other health professionals 
Community recreation programs 
Local health and safety departments 
Libraries 

Public transportation 






Employment-Oriented Support Systems 

Rearranged work week 
Flex time 

Supportive benefits 
Parental leave 
Job sharing 

Compressed work week 
Child care services 
Limited transfers 




Family Relations 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 




Barriers to Seeking and Getting Support 
Isolation 

I am alone and I am the only one that has felt like this. 
No one else has ever experienced what I am experiencing. 
There isn't anyone to help me. 
My problems are different from those of others. 
You are weak if you ask for help 

Denial 

This problem will go away. 
There really isn't any problem at all. 

Extreme Sense of Responsibility 

I should be able to handle this on my own. 
I don't want to force my problems onto other people. 
I don't want to burden others with my problems. 
No one else can solve this but me. 

Belief That Others Don't Want to Help 

Others don't want to hear about my problems. They have enough of their own. 

Others don't really want to know, or they would ask me more. 

Others don't want to be bothered. They don't really care. 

I don't want to infringe on other people's lives. 

Others get too upset when they hear about my problem. 

They can't deal with my problems. 

Others don't know enough to help, so I don't trust them. 

Need To Be a ''Perfect'' Person 

I should be able to handle my own problems. 

No one else is as good at solving my problems as I am. 

Lack of Energy or Strength to Seek Help 

It's too complicated to find and use a support system. 

It's easier just to do everything myself. 

I'm too tired to bother. I'll just let it go. 

It takes so much energy to explain my situation to others. 



ERIC 



Adapted from Family Ties. Worthington: Ohio Coalition for the Education of Handicapped Children. 1990. 

245 



249 



Family Retetions 



Dealing with Stress, Conflicts, and Crises 



Telephone Hotlines to Help 
with Family Crises 




If you are thinking about running away or have run away, 

Call National Runaways Hotline (800-231-6946) 
They provide: counseling on resolving home problems and referrals to local social service agencies and 
safe shelters. They will send help to your home in an emergency abuse situation or refer you to Operation 
Home Free for free transportation home. 

Call National Hotline for Missing Children (800-843-5678 

They provide: counseling, referrals to local social service organizations, and recommendations of local 
shelters. 

Call National Runaway Switchboard (800-621-4000 

They provide: help and guidance for such problems as drug abuse, child abuse, and sexual abuse, referral 
to local social service agencies and shelters, and transmittal of messages to parents without disclosing the 
runaway's location. 

If you are the victim of or have observed child abuse, 

Call National Child Abuse Hotline (800-422-4453 
They provide: crisis intervention counseling and referrals to local services. All calls are confidential. 

If you or someone you know has a drug problem, 

Call Cocaine Helpline (800-662-HELP) or 800-COCAINE (800-262-2463 
They provide: counseling on drug problems, referrals to local support groups (such as Narcotics 
Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous), to outpatient counseling programs, and to residential treatment 
centers. 



If you have a drinking problem, 

Call AA ( Alcoholics Anonymous) See your local telephone directory. 
They provide: referral to their local support groups. 



If you have a parent , friend, or relative with a drinking problem. 

Call AlaTeen. See your local telephone directory under Al-Anon. 
They provide: referral to local support groups of teenagers who have relatives or friends with drinking 
problems. 

If you feel depressed or suicidal. 

Call a local suicide prevention hotline. Most telephone directories list these and other Crisis Numbers in 
the Community Services section at the front of the White Pages. 



If you discover cancer in yourself or your family, 

Call for cancer information (800-638-6694) 



If someone close to you becomes handicapped. 

Call for information on programs for the handicapped (8(X)-424-8567) 



If you are having problems as a parent. 

Call Parents Anonymous (800-421-0353) 



If you discover that you or someone you know has the AIDS virus. 
Call for AIDS information 
(800-342-AlDS) 



Reprinted by permission from page 371 of Family Living: Relationships and Decisions by Frank Cox; Copyright © 1994 by 
West Publishing Company. All rights reserved. 

2o[) 



Family Relations 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT m ^ 
MODULE ' J 



Module Overview 



Practical 

Problem: What should I do about managing work and family roles and responsibilities? 

Competency: 5.0.7: Manage work and family roles and responsibilities 

Competency 

Builders: 5.0.7. 1 Analyze interrelationship of personal and family goals and values to work goals 
and values 

5.0.7.2 Analyze how social, economic, and technological changes impact work and 
family dynamics 

5.0.7.3 Develop strategies for sharing ownership of responsibilities of managing family 
and work 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



1. Interrelationship between personal and family goals and values and work goals 
and values 

2. Impact of social, economic, and technological changes on work and family 
dynamics 

3. Strategies for sharing responsibilities of managing work and family 



Rationale 



Teacher Background Information 



One of the challenges that faces modem families is the need to establish effective coordination and bound- 
aries between the domain of work and the domain of family life. For some time, there has been a trend 
toward increased involvement of married women and mothers of young children in the labor market. Thus, 
many families are characterized by a dual-eamer arrangement. Family science literature has addressed 
many issues in examining the interface between work and family life such as the relationship between a 
woman's employment status and the involvement of her husband and children in household tasks; role 
strain that results from enacting the roles of worker, spouse, and parent; the effect of job characteristics on 
marital quality; the impact of a mother's involvement in the labor market on the emotional and academic 
adjustment of her children; and the effects of unemployment on marital and family stability. 

Many policy questions have arisen as dual-earner families and employed single-parents attempt to preserve 
their family's sense of cohesion while enacting their worker roles. Examples include policies regarding 
availability of quality child care; parental leave for childbirth and adoption; and health care and home care 



ERLC 



2^1 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT m ^ 
MODULE / J 

benefits for aging parents. One of the questions facing American families in the years ahead is how they 
will negotiate a position with business and industry that recognizes the true interdependence of work and 
family and does not assume that families will always adapt or change in order to accommodate the needs of 
the workplace. Collaborating with workplace and public policy makers (such as supervisors, labor leaders, 
school board members, city government officials, and state and federal legislators) to create family policies 
that acknowledge the diversity of American individuals and families and help meet the economic and social 
demands of personal and family life is like fixing a screen door rather than just swatting mosquitoes 
(Crosby, 1991). 

Background 

Until recently, Americans viewed family and employment as separate worlds, with much of life organized 
around the workplace. Unfortunately, this separation has benefited the work world more than the family. 
With those who tend to control business organizations most likely to have the highest degree of family/ 
work separation, the code of corporate behavior was: "While you are here, you will act as though you have 
no other loyalties, no other life" (Hunsaker, 1983, p. 87). 

The notion of work and family as separate worlds has changed in recent years to reflect a greater under- 
standing of the mutual interdependence between family and work. Way (1991) has identified key ideas that 
have emerged to support the new notion of the relationship between work and family. 

♦ Life quality is a multi-dimensional phenomenon with family and work playing particularly important 
roles in an individual's perception of their unique quality of life. 

♦ Family and work roles are two of the many roles in which individuals participate throughout the life 
cycle. The selection and enactment of these roles is part of the larger process of human development. 

♦ Family and work cannot be viewed in isolation, but must be considered in the context of multiple 
environments that interact reciprocally. 

♦ Gender has important effects on the family/work relationship. 

♦ How roles and demands are perceived influence the occurrence of role strain and conflict and its 
impact on individuals and families as much as the situation itself. 

♦ Working women and men and their families can make more informed decisions about the family/ 
work relationship if they are knowledgeable about family and work issues, if they are able to apply 
mental processes to problematic situations, and if there is a disposition to do so (Way, 1991, p. 17). 

One of the most profound changes affecting the way American families view work and family roles has 
been the increase in the number of married women who are employed. The percentage of employed, 
married women whose husbands are present rose from 30 percent in 1960 to 58 percent in 1991 . The 
number of women with young children who work outside the house has grown substantially. In 1991, 57 
percent of married women with children under three years old were in the labor force, compared with 33 
percent in 1975 (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1992). Thus, it has become normative for married women and 
women with young children to work outside the home. Rather than drop out of the labor force and return to 
work after their children are grown, the majority of women now remain in the labor force throughout the 
early years of parenthood (Piotrokowski, Rapoport, & Rapoport, 1987). 




248 



252 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT « A 
MODULE ' J 



These changes have taken place within the context of a dynamic and changing economy. A restructuring 
of the labor market has led to a decline in the number of high paying jobs and a^i increase in the number 
of comparatively low-paying jobs. The manufacturing sector, in which many men are employed, has 
declined and the service sector, in which many women are employed has grown. Men appciu- to be 
experiencing greater difficulty finding stable, high-paying employment; women have little difficulty 
finding service-based employment but it is typically more short-term, lower-paying work that has few 
benefits or opportunities for advancement. Women are still heavily concentrated in low-paying jobs. The 
average woman earns 70 cents for every dollar earned by the average man when 1989 median weekly 
earning of full-time wage and salary workers were compared. The outcome is that even when both 
partners are in the labor market, they still experience economic uncertainty and difficulty achieving what 
they perceive as eco](iomic well-being or security (Nickols, 1994). 

These trends in the number of low-paying jobs for women have contributed to the feminization of pov- 
erty. Though most women with children have husbands who contribute to the family income and share 
family responsibilities, the number of families maintained by women has increased to 17.6 percent of all 
families in 1992 (U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1993). In 1988 women repre- 
sented 62 percent of all persons 16 years old and ove; with poverty level incomes. The poverty rate of all 
families maintained by women with no husband present was 33.5 percent; for those families maintained 
by women with children under age 18, the poverty rate was 44.7 percent. There were 3.6 million families 
maintained by women (no husband present) that had incomes below the poverty level (U. S. Department 
of Labor, Women's Bureau, 1990). 

These demographic trends indicate a need for all types of families, dual-earners as well as single-parent 
families, to be well-informed about strategies for balancing work and family roles. Coordinating various 
role responsibilities is a task that requires time and effort, and since role responsibilities often have 
varying weights, juggling the roles involves risks and creates stress. 

Central to the issue of juggling work and family responsibilities are the cultural assumptions about gender 
roles. Gender role definitions and values play a key role in how families negotiate the balance between 
work and family roles and responsibilities. Research shows that gender role stereotypes are perpetuated 
at home, causing increasing role strain for working women. In a 1986 study, for tasks traditionally 
thought of as the wife's, 84 percent of the people surveyed shared the child-care tasks, but only 30 percent 
shared the housework (Feder, O'Farrell, & Allen, 1991). A Boston consulting firm recently interviewed 
60,000 workers at 15 major corporations between 1986 and 1991. They found that women spend 44 
hours per week on the job and 31 hours on child care and household tasks; men spend 47 hours per week 
on the job and 1 5 hours on family responsibilities. 

There is no question that the involvement of both husband and wife in the labor market requires a redefi- 
nition of traditional family roles and the division of labor, especially redefinition of responsibility for the 
wide range of household tasks. One analysis of the potential conflicts for dual-earner couples focuses on 
the relative balance of power and demands for household labor for the two partners (Rosenfeld, 1992). In 
the traditional male-breadwinner/female-homemaker family model, the husband has more power as a 
result of his access to financial resources and participates little in the low status household tasks. The 



249 253 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT fj 
MODULE ' J 

wife has little power and the majority of responsibility for the household tasks. As women have entered 
the labor market, their access to resources hais increased. To the extent that their husbands also help in 
sharing the household tasks, the well-being and mental health of these women improves. For men, 
especially in families where there is a relatively high family income, as their wives' incomes match or 
surpass their own and when they have to take on a greater role in domestic tasks, their well-being declines 
and their mental health suffers. The reactions men have about feeling demeaned and threatened by 
demands to participate in household labor are associated with depressive symptoms similar to the reac- 
tions that women have when they try to carry the full responsibilities of household tasks and participation 
in the labor market. Finding the balance of power and household responsibilities that preserves a com- 
fortable feeling of mutual respect and support is a major challenge in the early years of the marriage and 
one that has to be fine-tuned and renegotiated throughout the marriage (Goodnow & Bower, 1994). 

The interconnection between gender expectations and role enactment becomes even more complex once 
children are added to the family. Couples who begin a marriage having egalitarian values about gender 
roles are typically better able to integrate work and family roles in the early period of marriage, before 
children are bom. With the addition of children, however, family roles tend to become divided along 
traditional lines, and egalitarian couples experience greater conflict. Couples who have more traditional 
values about the differentiation between men and women and their relative power and status in families 
may experience greater difficulty in the earlier phase of marriage, when both husband and wife are in the 
labor market. They find greater harmony and synchrony in their marriage once children are bom and 
women reduce their involvement in the labor market in order to spend more time with their children 
(Silberstein, 1992). It appears that a very crucial factor in marital satisfaction is the congruence that 
husband and wife experience between their attitudes and values, and their actual behaviors. For example, 
women who are in the labor force, and who perceive their husbands as supportive of their labor force 
involvement are much more satisfied in their marriage than are women who perceive their husbands to be 
resentful or resistant to their labor force participation. 

Dual-career couples, in which both partners pursue high-powered professional, technical, or administra- 
tive careers, have risen steadily in numbers in recent years. A considerable amount of research done on 
these couples indicates the characteristics of the relationship that are most likely to be associated with 
high levels of marital satisfaction (Thomas, Albrecht, & White, 1984): 

• Adequate income, with husbands eaming more than their wives 

• Couple consensus that husband's career is preeminent 

• Husband supports wife's career 

• Older children 

• Satisfying social life 

• Husband empathic to wife's stress 

• Good sexual relationship 

• Discussion of work-related problems 

• Role complementarity and role sharing 

• Shared activities and companionship 

ERIC 




Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C 



CONTENT "Jt^ 
MODULE ' J 



As family members balance work and family responsibilities, it is important to consider the many benefits 
of combining life roles, rather than merely seeing the balancing act as a source of stress. An impressive 
amount of data indicate that all family members can benefit practically and psychologically from combin- 
ing significant life roles. Juggling life roles has positive benefits because of the variety, amplification, 
and sharing of life's stories with extended audiences, and buffering of the good and bad in each role. 
Evidence indicates that women who combine significant life roles are better off emotionally than are 
women with fewer roles. Role jugglers demonstrate less depression, higher self-esteem, and greater 
satisfaction with life generally and different aspects of life than do women who play fewer roles (Crosby, 
1991). Men who overcome personal and cultural stereotyping, and combine significant life roles experi- 
ence benefits such as developing domestic skills, spending time with children, and, when their spouse also 
has a paid job, feeling liberated from financial pressure. Both spouses have been found to experience 
greater marital satisfaction in dual-earner couples when there is an emphasis on family conversation, 
shared leisure time activities, empathy, and companionship (Blumstien & Schwartz, 1983). 

While coordinating personal and career responsibilities is often assumed to be a personal problem, many 
believe the core issue is one of our cultural beliefs about the workplace and the need for structural change 
in work environments that will support families. Personally reinventing solutions to structural and 
systemic problems consumes time and energy and perpetuates the problems. Lasting improvements can 
be achieved by improving workplace and public policies that create structures affecting role coordination. 

Both individual and collective action is needed to improve workplace policies and attitudes that will 
better support individuals and families. Workplace policies such as flexible scheduling of work time, 
family leave, job sharing, and child care allowances or support can be helpful. It is important to consider 
the effects of these policies on work productivity and family support. Families also need to become 
involved in determining public policy. Though there is debate about how much legislation is necessary to 
encourage corporations to be responsive to family needs, legislation enacted in a variety of arenas can be 
designed to support families in their many roles. Legislation affecting the workplace includes family 
leave policies, sexual harassment and discrimination, and comparable worth gi-iidelines. Identifying and 
changing the features of the workplace and society that create unnecessary obstacles and unneeded effort 
and pain is a fundamental imperative to coordinate personal and career responsibilities and enhance the 
quality of society. 



References 

Blumstein,P.,& Schwartz, P. (1983). American couples. New York: William Morrow. 

Cheriin, A.J. (1981). Marriage, divorce, remarriage. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 

Crosby, F. J . ( 1 99 1 ). Juggling: The unexpected advantages of balancing career and home for womjsn 
and their families. New York: The Free Press. 



251255 




Feder, M. A., O'Farrell, B., & Allen, L. R. (1991). V^ork and family: Policies for a changing workforce. 
Washington, DC: National Academy. 

Felstehausen,G.,&Schultz,J.(Eds.). (1991). Work and Family: Educational Implications. Peoria, IL: 
Teacher Education Section of the American Home Economics Association, Yearbook 11. 

Goodnow,J.J.,&Bowes.J.M. (1994). Men, women, and household work. New York: Oxford Univer- 
sity Press. 

Hunsaker, J. S. (1983). Work and family life must be integrated. Personnel Administrator, 28 (4), 87-91. 

Nickols,S.Y. (1994). Work/family stresses. In P. C. McKenry & S. J. Price (Eds.). Families and 
change: Coping with stressful events. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. p. 66-87. 

Piotrkowski, C. S., Rapoport, R. J., & Rapoport, R. (1987). Families and work. In M B. Sussman & S. 
K. Steinmetz (Eds.). Handbook of marriage and the family. New York: Plenum, p. 251-284. 

Rosenfeld, S. (1992). The costs of sharing: Wives' employment and husbands' mental health. Journal 
of Health and Social Behavior, 33, 213-225. 

Silberstein, L. R. (1992). Dual career marriage: A system in transition. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence 
Erlbaum. 

Thomas, S., Albrecht, K., & White, P. (1984). Determinants of marital quality in dual-career couples. 
Family Relations, 33, 513-521. 

U. S. Bureau of the Census (1992). Statistical abstract of the United States, Washington, DC: U. S. 
Government Printing Office. 

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (1993). Employment and earnings. Washington, 
DC: U. S. Government Printing Office. 

U. S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau. (1990). 20 facts on women workers. Washington, DC: 
U. S. Government Printing Office. 

Way W (1991) Frameworks for examining work-family relationships within the context of home 
economics education. In G. Felstehausen, & J. B. Schultz (Eds.). Work and Family: Educational 
Implications. Peoria, IL: Glencoe-McGraw Hill. p. 1-23. 

Yahnke, S., Mallette, D., Love, C, Gebo, E., Felstehausen, G., & Pomraning, D. (1993). Balancing 
family and work. Gainesville, VA: Home Economics Education Association. 



252 2^6 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibiiities 



1. Interrelation- 
ship between 
persona] and 
family goals 
and values and 
work goals 
and values 



a. 



Learning Activities 



Cco>nrENT « A 
MODULE / J 



In Family Relations Research Teams, choose one of the Balancing Work and 
Family Case Studies (p. 260). Identify the factors that influence how the family 
in your case study coordinates work and family responsibilities. Share your list 
with the class and compile a class list of these factors, such as those listed below. 

(1) Family life cycle stage 

(2) Gender role expectations 

(3) Number and type of responsibilities to be balanced 

(4) Family goals and values regarding work 

Discussion Questions 

• Are some of the factors on your list a greater influence on the family than 
others? Why or why not? 

• Would you describe the families in the case study as having a good balance 
between work and family responsibilities? Why or why not? 

• What happens when families do not balance work and family responsibilities 
well? 



b. Using the family case studies in the previous activity, outline your simulated 
family's goals and values with regard to family and their goals and values with 
regard to work. List ten household responsibilities they will need to coordinate. 
Describe how their work responsibilities and household responsibilities might 
conflict given their goals and values. 



c. Complete Who Does Household Chores? (p. 261). Examine Family 

Assessment: Traditional or Egalitarian? (p. 262) and determine which belief 
systems "are reflected in the survey responses of men and women on Who Does 
Household Chores? (p. 261). 



2. Impact of a. 
social, economic, 
and technological 
changes on work 
and family 
dynamics 



Discussion Questions 

• Why do seme people have trouble accepting nontraditional roles for males or 
females? 

• Why are these traditional roles being reexamined by many families? 

• What are the consequences of each type of belief system? 

Conduct a survey of families in your community to learn about work and family 
dynamics. Read How is Work Affecting Families? (p. 263-264) and add, 
delete, or modify questions as appropriate for your community. Conduct the 
survey and compile your findings, drawing conclusions about the 
interconnectedness of work and family life in your community. 



ERLC 




Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT m N 
MODULE ' J 



b. Write a story about a time in your family when work life affected family or when 
something in your family affected work life. In small groups, share your stories 
and make a list of work concerns and frustrations that afftct the family. Then 
make a second list of family concerns and frustrations that affect work. Share 
your lists with the class. Compare your concept of the interconnectedness of 
work and family life to that depicted on The Effects of Work on the Family 
(p. 265). 



Fifty 



Discussion Questions 

• How are work and family interconnected in your own life? 

• Were work and family roles connected in these ways ten years ago? 
years ago ? Why or why not ? 

• What are the implications of this interconnectedness for families? Work- 
places? Society? 

Use classroom and community resources to determine trends affecting the 
interconnectedness of work and family life, such as those listed below. In small 
groups, choose one of the trends and create a poster illustrating the impact of that 
trend. Include statistical data and information as well as quotes from surveys or 
interviews on your poster. Display in the classroom. 

(1) Increased involvement of women in the workforce 

(2) Changing ideas about men's and women's roles in the work of the family 

(3) Increased involvement of parents in the workforce 

(4) Feminization of poverty 

Discussion Questions 

• What has your experience been with some of these trends? 

• How are these trends reflected in the results from your survey in the previous 
activity? 

• How are each of these trends affecting families? Workplaces? Society? 



Teacher Note: The teacher background information in this module includes 
statistical information about each of these trends. 



Using magazines, newspapers, catalogues, and business supply store advertise- 
ments, design a display of products and appliances that were designed or im- 
proved in the last ten years in response to the trends related to balancing work 
and family roles. Explain how each of these products and appliances could assist 
in balancing work and family responsibilities. 



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Managing Workand Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT m ^ 
MODULE / J 



Discussion Questions 

• V/hat are the consequences of these technological advancements for families? 
For society? 

• V/hich products or appliances have you used in your home? Why? 

• Do technological advancements always support the family? Why or why not? 

Using resources, define dual-earner family. Research statistics on the number of 
dual-earner families and post the statistics in the classroom. In teams, debate the 
advantages and disadvantages of having two wage earners in a family. 

Discussion Questions 

• What are the consequences for parents living in dual-earner families? For 
children living in dual-earner families? 

• Do you see a dual-earner family in your future? Why or why not? 

• How is the trend in the number of dual-earner families affecting our society? 

• How do societal expectations affect dual-earner families? 



Strategies 
for sharing 
responsibilities 
of managing 
work and 
family 



In Family Relations Research Teams, choose one of the topics below related to 
managing work and family responsibilities and research that topic. Using a news 
program format, produce and videotape a news show about managing work and 
family having each team piesent their topic in a segment of the show. 

(1) Choosing Child Care 

(2) Making Quality Family Time 

(3) Scheduling and Assigning Household Tasks 

(4) Organizing for the Morning Rush Hour 

(5) Basic Time Management for Busy Families 

Discussion Questions 

• Which of these strategies would be most helpful to you? Least helpful? Why? 

• Which strategies do you presently use in balancing work and family responsi- 
bilities? 

- • What skills are needed to effectively manage family and career responsibili- 
ties? 

• Why is sharing responsibilities among family members important? 

b. FHA/HERO: Invite working parents to class to identify support systems they 
use in balancing work and family, such as those listed next. Following the 
presentation, create a display illustrating these support systems for a local mall, 
community center, or library. 



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255 259 



(1) Extended family 

(2) Child care providers 

(3) Educational programs 

(4) Workplace programs 

(5) Flexible scheduling 

(6) Housekeeping services 

(7) Community services 

(8) Personal management skills (stress, time, and money management) 

FHA/HERO: Invite a panel of employers who are taking innovative steps to 
support their employees as they balance work and family. Ask the employers to 
explain how these policies came about and how employees can encourage 
workplaces to adopt policies that support families. Identify the various work- 
place strategies used and list the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy 
for the employer, the employee, and society. 

(1) Flex time 

(2) Parental leave policies 

(3) Sick leave time to support family illness 

(4) On-site child care 

(5) Child care allowance 

(6) Healthcare 

(7) Job sharing opportunities 

Discussion Questions 

• When you are looking for a potential employer, will you consider whether or 
not your future job will provide some of these opportunities? Why or why not? 

• Which of these strategies were easiest for the employer to implement? Most 
difficult? Why? 

• Which of these strategies seem to be most important to the employees? Why? 

• Why do you think some employers are reluctant to implement policies that 
support families ? 

• Are any of the consequences of these strategies negative? How should we go 
about dealing with these negative consequences? 

d. In small groups, use the practical problem-solving process to resolve one of the 
situations related to family balancing work and family life below. Record your 
thinking on the Practical Family Problems Think Sheet (p. 29). Role-play 
your solution for the class. Justify your choice. 

(1) A dual-career couple discussing who stays home when their child has 
chicken pox 



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Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT m >v 
MODULE ' J 

(2) A single parent discussing with children who does the household chores 
when she is at work 

(3) A single father choosing a child care center for his preschool daughter 

(4) A couple trying to resolve a conflict caused by the wife's career obligation to 
attend a week-long conference in another state 

(5) A couple discussing the best investment approach for their combined salaries 

e. In Family Relations Research Teams, choose one of the case studies on Balanc- 
ing Work and Family Case Studies (p. 260), and devise a plan for balancing 
work and family responsibilities in that family. Include plans for sharing house- 
hold responsibilities, sharing family time together, and coordinating schedules. 
Present your plan to the class and identify criteria for evaluating the management 
of family and career responsibilities, such as those listed below. 

(1) Reflects individual, family, and work-related priorities 

(2) Reflects appropriate sharing of tasks, responsibilities, and performance 
standards 

(3) Uses appropriate strategies to coordinate career and family responsibilities 

(4) Ensures time for self, family, and work 

Action Project: Observe or volunteer at a child care center or home care 
provider for one day. Observe how parents coordinate arriving and picking up 
children during the day and how the center supports the concept of working 
parents. Summarize your findings in a written report. 

g. Action Project: Visit and evaluate ajob-site day care program. Interview care 
providers, parents using the service, and employers to determine how the pro- 
gram affects job productivity. Share your findings in an oral report to the class. 

h. Action Project: Create a plan to help your family coordinate work and family 
responsibilities. Include a plan for sharing household responsibilities, sharing 
family time together, and coordinating schedules. Keep a journal to describe 
how your plan is working. At the end of the project, write a short paper evaluat- 
ing the effectiveness of your plan. Use the questions below to guide your evalua- 
ti >n. 





(1) Does the amount of time your family spends on various responsibilities 
reflect what is important to them? 

(2) What factors influence how your family balances work, family, and personal 
responsibilities? 

(3) Was your plan successful in helping balance work and family responsibili- 
ties? Why or why not? 



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c 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



CONTENT m \ 
MODULE ' J 



(J^) What did your family like best about the plan? Least? 

(5) Would you use the plan again? Why or why not? 

(6) What actions will your family take in the future to manage work and family 
responsibilities? 

i. Write a journal entry in your reflection notebook that describes your ideas about 
balancing work and family responsibilities. Use the items below to guide your 
reflection. 

(1 ) The most influential trends affecting how people balance work and family 
roles are . . . 

(2) Ways that these trends have influenced my family are . . . 

(3) In my future family, I will balance work and family life by . . . 

(4) Balancing work and family responsibilities is important because . . . 



Paper and Pencil 

1 . Given case studies, explain how family and career goals are related in each situation. 

2. Given examples of social, economic, and technological changes, analyze how each change has had an 
impact on work and family dynamics. 

3. Given a family case study, develop strategies for sharing work and family responsibilities. 
Classroom Experiences 

1 . In cooperative learning groups, choose a case study and identify the factors that influence how the 
family in your case study coordinates work and family responsibilities. Outline your simulated 
family's goals and values with regard to family and their goals and values with regard to work. List 
ten household responsibilities they will need to coordinate. Describe how their work responsibilities 
and household responsibilities might conflict given their goals and values. 

2. Conduct a survey of families in your community. Compile your findings and draw conclusions about 
the interconnectedness of work and family life in your community. 

3. Write a story about a time in your family when work life affected family or when something in your 
family affected work life, 



Assessment 



258 



2C2 



ERIC 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



C CONTENT ^7 ^ 
MODULE ' J 

4. In small groups, choose a trend affecting the interconnectedness of work and family life and design a 
poster illustrating that trend. 

5. Design a display of products and appliances that were designed or improved in the last ten years in 
response to the trends related to balancing work and family roles. 

6. In cooperative learning groups, choose a topic related to managing work and family responsibilities 
and research that topic. Prepare a presentation to the class to inform them about the topic. 

7. In small groups, use the practical problem-solving process to resolve a situation related to balancing 
work and family life. Role-play your solution for the class. Justify your choice. 

8. In cooperative learning groups, choose a case study, and devise a plan for balancing work and family 
responsibilities in that family. Include plans for sharing household responsibilities, sharing family 
time together, and coordinating schedules. Present your plan to the class and identify criteria for 
evaluating the management of family and career responsibilities. 




Application to ReaMife Settings 

1 . Observe or volunteer at a child care center or home care provider for one day. Observe how parents 
coordinate arriving and picking up children during the day and how the center supports the concept of 
working parents. Summarize your findings in a written report. 

2. Visit and evaluate a job-site day care program. Interview care providers, parents using the service, 
and employers to determine how the program affects job productivity. Share your findings in an oral 
report to the class. 

3. Create a plan to help your family coordinate work and family responsibilities. Include a plan for 
sharing household responsibilities, sharing family time together, and coordinating schedules. Keep a 
journal to describe how your plan is working. At the end of the project, write a short paper evaluating 
the effectiveness of your plan. 



259 



Family Relations 



I Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 




Balancing Work and Family Case Studies 

^#lj[he Simpsons are a blended family. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson recently married. Mr. Simpson has two children 
ages 5 and 7, and Mrs. Simpson has two children, ages 12and 16. Mr. Simpson's children live with him on the 
weekends. Mr. Simpson teaches social studies at the local elementary school, and Mrs. Simpson owns and 
operates a children's clothing store at the mall. Frequently, Mrs. Simpson works evenings until 9:00 p.m. 

Mr. Simpson wants to build a strong family. "In many ways, I feel like Tm starting all over again as a parent, 
but this time I don*t get to know my new stepchildren as infants and small children first. They are teenagers 
now with busy schedules of practices and school activities. I feel like we really have to plan time together if 
I am going to get to know them. At the same time, my responsibilities at school have increased. I was just 
assigned as lead teacher of the social studies department and I will have more obligations outside the regular 
school day." 

"We have some pretty big financial obligations to our family, so our jobs are important to us," says Mrs. 
Simpson. "My husband usually is home after school to be with the kids, fix dinner, and help with homework. 
Since my shop doesn't open until 10:00 a.m., I can usually take time to get them off to school and see them at 
breakfast. Since I am my own boss, if a really important event is going on in their lives, I organize my day to 
be able to be there for them. Scheduling can be very hectic, but it is important to make time for our children." 

#2 A ngie and Frank are married. Angie is an attorney and Frank is an engineer. Their combined income is 
well above average and they are able to purchase the basic things they need and want. They have an 8-year~ 
old son, Jason, and a 10-year-old daughter, Michelle. Both children are exceptionally bright and active 
youngsters. Angie and Frank encourage them to participate in as many activities as possible as they believe this 
will help them excel. As one might imagine, Angie and Frank arc extremely busy and rarely at home. 

"It is important to us to be role models of career success to our children," says Angie. "We want Jason and 
Michelle to understand that they can be anything they want to be. Frank and I share many of the chores around 
the house and we expect our children to help, too." 

Frank says, "Being an African-American family, we want to pass along our cultural heritage to our children. 
When we spend time together as a family, we share traditions that refelct our culture." 

Bon n ie and Brad m arried ten years ago and have since had three children , ages eight, five, and three . Brad 
is a regional sales manager for a large company and travels extensively, usually being away from home at least 
four days a week. Brad's job pays well and he enjoys it. He is proud that he is able to support his family and 
that his wife is able to devote her time to raising their children and taking care of the house. 

"Sometimes I often wonder where my time goes," says Bonnie. "I do all the housework, run the kids around 
to school, practices, and lessons. I volunteer in the community extensively. In fact. I have trouble saying no 
to anyone who asks me to do volunteer work. I really have very little time to myself, especially since Brad 
frowns on me getting a baby-sitter to watch the kids if I need to go out alone or with friends." 

^ Elaine has a son Mark who is 1 1 and a daughter Eva, who is 14. Elaine works full-time as the office 
nianager for a group of doctors. Elaine has established household chores for Mark and Eva to do and they are 
given an allowance each week if the work is done. They are expected to use their allowance for spending money 
when they want to go to a movie or buy something that is above and beyond Elaine's budget limits. Eva has 
decided to babysit regularly for neighbors' children, and earns extra money that way, though she is frequently 
not at home on evenings and weekends. 

"I like my job," says Elaine. "It is challenging and I like the responsibility. When I am at work, I am so busy 
I rarely think of my kids. Mark usually calls me at work to tell me he is home from school, since Elaine is often 
babysitting. Our time together as a family is limited, but when we arc together, we like to have fun." - 




260 



2GI 




Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



Who Does Household Chores? 



The following table represents the percentage of wives and husbands who report doing all or most of various 
household chores. Review the data in the table and answer the questions below. 



Doing laundry ; 
Preparing meals r*-rrL-4-- 
Buying gifts for birthdays and holidays 
i Taking care of sick children* 
j ^ Taking care of children on daily basis* 
Doing grocery shopping 
Cleaning house 
Washing dishes 
Paying bills 

Making decisions about furniture and decor 
Disciplining children* 

Making decisions about savings or investments 
Making decisions about vacations and entertainment 
Keeping car in good condition 
Doing yard work 
Making home repairs 



♦Based only on those with children at home 





1 . Which five household tasks are women most likely to perform? Would you describe these tasks as being 
performed traditionally by women? 



2. Which five household tasks are men most likely to perform? Would you describe these tasks as being 
performed traditionally by men? 



3. What is the average percentage of household chores done by women? By men? 



4. Based on these data» who is largely responsible for household chores in families? 



5. Do these data surprise you? Why or why not? 



6. What are the implications of these data for families in which both parents work full-time outside the home? 



7. What changes do you predict in these data in the next ten years? Twenty years? Give reasons for your 

predictions. ^ 



erJc 



Data compiled fromTlie Gallup Poll Monthly, February 1 990, p. 3 1 . 



261 



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Family Relations 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 

— — — — — — — ^ 

Family Assessment: Traditional or Egalitarian? 

Traditional beliefs and actions reflect a learned belief system where men's and women's work are distinctly 
different with men functioning as "breadwinners" and women as "homemakers." Egalitarian beliefs and actions 
reflect a belief system that encourages role sharing between men and women, discovering strengths in nontradi- 
tiorial areas, and striving for a more equal household work load between partners who both work outside the home. 

The continuum below describes several degrees of these two belief systems. Where do you fall on this continuum? 



Family Member 

Responsibilities and 
Tasks 



Traditional 

Believes that there is 
**men's work" and 
"women's work" and is 
not willing to break 
those traditions even if 
both partners work out- 
side the home. Believes 
that the income provided 
as "breadwinner" is the 
man's contribution to 
family responsibilities. 



Moderately Traditional Moderately Egalitarian 



Believes there is "men's 
work" and "women's 
work" but is willing to 
"help out" occasionally 
with tasks that are tradi- 
tional to the opposite 
gender. Seldom initi- 
ates such tasks. Believes 
thatthe income provided 
by husband/father is a 
major contribution to 
family life, but involve- 
ment in other ways is 
needed as well. 



Believes that men and 
women are capable of 
many tasks and behav- 
iors traditional to both 
genders and is willing 
to share in nontradi- 
tional tasks. Believes 
that providing income 
is only a part of a man's 
total contribution to the 
'family responsibilities, 
and that women can 
share as partners in the 
"provider" role. 



Egalitarian 

Believes that no tasks 
beyond actual child- 
birth must be gender 
linked; shares in all 
types of activities and 
is willing to take pri- 
mary responsibility 
for some nontradi- 
tional tasks. Is likely 
to initiate a nontradi- 
tional task without 
being asked and be- 
lieves inaco-provider 
and partner relation- 
ship with working 
spouse. 



Parenting Beliefs 
and Practices 



Teaches and encourages 
children only in the ar- 
eas traditionally thought 
to be acceptable behav- 
ior for their gender. 
Practices traditional 
child care/parenting 
roles, e.g., father serves 
primarily as the disci- 
plinarian for the chil- 
dren, mother teaches, 
nurtures, etc. 



Teaches and encourages 
traditional roles, but also 
i s open to breaki ng some 
traditions (e.g., OK for 
boys to express "tender" 
feelings or for girls to be 
independent. Expects 
children first to be able 
to accomplish traditional 
tasks of their gender. 



Teaches and sometimes 
encourages children to 
discover their own 
strengths and for both 
genders to express a 
wide range of feelings. 
Is comfortable with chil- 
dren learning nontradi- 
tional tasks and prac- 
tices, some traditional 
and nontraditional child 
care/parenting roles. 



Teaches and encour- 
ages children to dis- 
cover their own 
strengths and feelings 
and to take responsi- 
bility and share in non- 
traditional household 
tasks. Shares actively 
in parenting roles and 
responsibilities. 



Reaction to Role 
Sharing 



Is highly uncomfortable 
and/or will react nega- 
tively to any pressure to 
do something not within 
one's own view of tra- 
ditional genderroles and 
responsibilities. Does 
not ask for or expect help 
from the opposite gen- 
der partner or children. 



Is somew!iat uncom- 
fortable V'hen pressured 
to do something not 
within one's own view 
of traditional sex roles 
and responsibilities. 
Will often clarify that he 
or she is only "helping 
out" when doing a non- 
traditional task. 



Is comfortable in doing 
nontraditional tasks. Is 
willing to share and ne- 
gotiate tasks — seldom 
avoids a task because 
the opposite gender 
"should" do it. 



Is very open and will- 
ing to share roles, is 
actively involved in 
working out an egali- 
tarian lifestyle within 
the family. 




V...— — — — — — — — — — ^ 

Developed by Joan K. Comcau, Ph.D., Family Information Services, Minneapolis, MN. Originally published in Balancing Work 
and Family, a curriculum developed through the Minnesota Department of Vocational Technical Education. 

262 

2G6 



Family Relations 



Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



How is Work Affecting Families? 



Page 1 of 2 



Our Family Relations class is studying the effect of work on families. Your response to this survey will be helpful 
to us in identifying factors that niost contribute to a balance between work and family responsibilities. Some 
questions only apply to those employed outside the home, but some apply to homemakers not employed outside the 
home. All responses will remain anonymous. 



Are you: 

□ Male 

□ Female 



Description of family situation: 

G Married, one spouse works outside the home 

□ Married, both spouses work outside the home 

□ Single □Other 



Discription of chUdren: 

□ Children, under age 18 

□ Children, over age 18 

□ No chidren 



Questions for all families: 

1. Do you feel that your spouse often is too involved with his or her work at the expense of the time your 
family spends together? 

□ Yes □No □No spouse 

2. How often do work or career pressures (yours or spouse's) create a serious strain on your marriage? 

□ Frequently □ Occasionally □Never □ Does not apply 

3. Which two or three of the following family-supportive benefits would you most like to see employers 
offer employees? 

□ Day care for children □ Counseling for personal/family problems 

□ Equivalent family leave instead of sick leave □ Paternity leave as well as maternity leave 

□ Flexible hours □ Four-day work week 

□ The opportunity for two people to share a single job □ Other 

Questions to be answered by women and men who are employed outside the home: 

4. How do you feel about your job? 

□ Like it very much □lt*sOK □ Don*tcare for it □Hate it □DonU work outside the home 



What do you like most about your job? 

□ Good income/benefits/financial security 

□ Creative satisfaction/fulfillment 

□ Opportunity for professional growth 

□ Stimulating work environment 

□ Having adequate tirne and energy left 
for family and leisure 

□ Producing a high-quality product or service 

□ Recognition and advancement 



□ Employment security 

□ Job requirements match your abilities and interests 

□ Good communication with coworkers 

□ Making a meaningful contribution to society 

□ Employer appreciates suggestions and initiative 

□ Employ ?r is fair and concerned about employee's 
well-being 

□ Other . 



□ Little opportunity for recognition and advancement 

□ Annoying or hazardous physical surroundings 

□ Little pride in the product/service involved 

□ Inadequate benefits 



What do you dislike most about your job? 

□ Repetitious, boring and/or exhausting work 

□ Little opportunity for professional growth 

□ Low pay 

□ Worry about being laid off 

□ Job requirements do not match your abilities 

□ Conflicts with coworkers and business associates 

□ Long hours and/or excessive job demands detract from time with family 

□ Suggestions and initiative are stifled by employer 

□ Feeling that your work isn't really appreciated 

□ Feeling that employer is unfair and unconcerned about employees* well-being 

□ None of the above 

□ Othcr_ : : 



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Family Relations 



f Managing Work and Family Roles and ResponsibikHies 



How is Work Affecting Families? (continued) 



Page 2 of 2 



7. Supposing you suddenly became financially secure for life, would you continue to work? 

□ Yes, would continue doing same job □ Yes, but would look for a different job 

□ No , □ Don't know 

8. In general, are you happier at home or at work? 

□ Home □ Work □ Happy at both places □ Happy at neither 

9. When you are upset by a work situation, do you generally: 

□ Discuss the problem with your spouse □ Discuss the problem with a coworker or friend 

□ Forget it when you're at home/deal □ Become moody at home 
with it when you get back to work □ Other 

10. Does your family have a basic understanding of what your job is and what it means to you? 

□ Yes QNo □ Don't know 

11. Do you frequently work overtime and/or bring work home to do on evenings and/or weekends? 

□ Yes □ No 

12. If you were given the option, would you prefer to do your present job in your home (rather than going 
to an office or plant every workday)? 

□ Yes □ No □ Already work at or from home □ Not possible to do present job at home 

13. Some people who work outside the home may be envious of full-time homemakers because they believe 
homemakers have more time to do the things they want to do, more time to spend with their families, etc. 
Do you feel this way? 

□ Yes □ No ' □ Sometimes 

14. Overall, how would you assess you employer's attitude toward and/or effect on family life? 

□ Is sensitive to and supportive of employees' family life 

□ Contributes to tension and difficulty in family life 

□ Doesn't have much effect one way or the other 

□ Does not apply 

Questions to be answered if both parents (or one parent if a single-adult household) are employed outside 
the home and there are children living at home: 

15. How do you handle child care during work hours? 

□ Baby-sitter comes to your home 

□ Take children to baby-sitter 

□ Take children to employer-sponsored day-care center 

□ Take children to private or community day-care center 

□ Let children take care of themselves 

□ Work different hours; an adult is always home 

□ Other 



16. Are you satisfied that your children generally arc getting enough parental attention event though their 
parents are working outside the home? 
□ Yes □ No 



264 



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Family Relations 



• f 



f Managing Work and Family Roles and Responsibilities 



The Effects of Work on the Family 



Work Affects Families Bv 



Providing an economic means of existence 
Influencing the structure (scheduling) of family life 
Providing an avenue for personal satisfaction 
Requiring mobility 
Providing status 

Serving as a source of frustration that may carry 
over into family life 



Families Affect Work Bv . . . 



Providing competent workers through development 
of capabilities and interpersonal competencies 

Serving as a source of frustration that may carry 
over into work life 

Restoring workers for their work roles by 
providing nutrition, relaxation, tension reduction, 
acceptance, and love 



Source: SJorgenscn and G. Henderson, Dime««o«i o/Fam//v Cincinnati^ South-Westem Publishing Co., 1990. 



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Family Relations 



Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



Module Overview 



C CONTENT o "\ 
MODULE O J 



Practical 
Problem: 



What should I do about social forces affecting families? 



Competency 5.0.8: Analyze social forces that influence families across the life span 



Competency 
Builders: 



Supporting 
Concepts: 



5.0.8.1 Identify social forces that influence families 

5.0.8.2 Identify interdependent relationships between families and society 

5.0.8.3 Analyze how laws and public and private policies affect families 

5.0.8.4 Identify how families can become proactive in the legislative process 

5.0.8.5 Evaluate global issues affecting families 

5.0.8.6 Identify ethical and moral issues affecting families 

5.0.8.7 Analyze how the economy affects families 

5.0.8.8 Analyze how prejudices affect families 

5.0.8.9 Develop strategies to address societal forces that influence families 
5.0,8.10 Identify career opportunities that impact families 



1 . Social and global issues 

2. Interdependent relationship between families and society 

3. Legislation and the family 

4. Prejudice and families 

5. Career opportunities 



Teacher Background Information 



Rationale 



Families and the larger social system are intimately interdependent. Strong families are able to monitor 
and assess social change in order to preserve their equilibrium. They are able to adapt to changes in the 
environment while preserving critical functions such as providing emotional support, promoting optimal 
development, and establishing a sense of continuity or connection between the individual and the commu- 
nity. Societies depend on families to socialize children so that they grow up having internalized the 
accepted values and practices of the society and being motivated to contribute to productive work. Societ- 
ies also depend on families to provide essential nurturance and care for one another. Family members are 
not paid to carry out all the household work necessary to promote the health, safety, physical, and emo- 
tional well-being of the members, they just do it as part of their commitment and affection for one another. 
If one considers the costs when families cannot provide these functions, as when children are placed into 

ERIC 



Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



C CONTENT Q ^ 
MODULE O J 

foster care or when older adults are institutionalized, it is painfully clear how expensive it is to try to 
replace basic family functions. Finally, society counts on families to function as consumers as well as 
producers. Families sustain the economy, not only by providing the labor force but by serving as one of 
the major markets for the products and services that the economy offers. 

^ Although the most common approach to the study of family and society is to consider the ways that social 
forces impact on and modify families, one can also find numerous examples of ways that families use 
formal or informal means to influence ether social institutions (Settles, 1987). 

Background 

American families are extremely diverse, comprised of different stractures, varying ethnic and cultural 
backgrounds, having different levels of educational and occupational attainment, different religious 
beliefs, different values about family life, and different expectations about the role of society in guiding or 
influencing family life. As a result of these many differences, it is critical to appreciate that American 
families have different vulnerabilities to social forces. For example, in the late 1970s, ^he federal govern- 
ment shifted its policy of support for higher education, offering fewer scholarships and grants and more 
student loans. This had a proportionally greater negative effect on educational access for low income 
families than for middle and upper income students. In addition, minority students were especially hard 
hit by this policy since their families were less inclined to take out loans and probably had less access 
than white families to banks that would make these loans. As a result, the enrollment of low-income 
minority students in colleges and universities dropped substantially from 1978 to about 1985. 

Most aspects of the society have an impact on families including the economy, the labor market, educa- 
tional opportunities, laws and policies regarding employment, housing, health care, marriage, adoption, 
divorce, and inheritance. In addition, changing cultural norms about matters such as child rearing prac- 
tices, gender roles, living arrangements, attitudes toward remaining single, attitudes toward the elderiy, 
ideal age for marriage and childbearing, and ideal family size, all influence how people approach family 
decision-making and how they feel about their own family life. 

In many instances, there is an interdependence or bi-directional influence between social forces and 
family systems. For example, in historical accounts of the process of industrialization in New England, 
the textile mills recruited workers from the rural areas through family contacts. Often young giris from 
the nearby farm area worked in the mills for one or two years, experiencing a period of independence 
from family life before marriage. These giris sent most of their earnings back to their family, thereby 
strengthening the financial security of the family-based farm while participating in building up the textile 
industry. Families would recruit friends and relatives from other areas to come work in the mills, thus 
contributing to the industrial labor force while strengthening kinship ties (Hareven, 1987; 1982). 

In contemporary times, interdependence is well illustrated in the issue of child care. It is normative for 
married women with young children to be in the labor force. Yet, the United States does not have a 
comprehensive policy regarding the support of child care. In most communities, child care programs are 
not well regulated. The best quality programs are expensive, and typically, there are not enough spaces 




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for the number of children who need care. In addition, most child care services do not offer evening care or 
sick child care. Many families in which both mother and father are in the labor market have a complex 
arrangement for child care, often involving family members, center, and short-term babysitting (National 
Commission on Children, 1993). Large numbers of families have children in the care of older siblings or 
leave young children alone for several hours, especially between the time school lets out and when parents 
return from work (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1991). Many grandparents assume significant child care 
responsibilities for their grandchildren, especially in single-parent families. What is more, some families 
have adapted to the lack of adequate child care resources by increased development of home-based busi- 
nesses, including the emergence of a large number of home-based family child care services. The point is 
that social policies which, at this time, prevent the development of a well-regulated, affordable, high quality 
child care system, place pressures on families. Families respond by creating a wide variety of child care 
arrangements, and, in some cases, by creating new entrepreneurial endeavors in order adapt to these social 
pressures (HoUoway & Fu"^.r, 1992). 

Changes '.n laws and policies can have a strong impact on families. Concern about the increasing number of 
single, female-headed families who are in poverty has led to the exploration of a number of policy issues, 
one of which is child support. Current estimates find that about 60 percent of the custodial mothers in 
single-parent families have received some type of child support award. However, slightly less than half of 
these women receive the full amount of payment from the non-custodial fathers and about 25 percent 
receive nothing. Although the lack of child support is not the only factor that brings single, female-headed 
households into poverty, it appears to be a substantial factor (Teachman, 1991). Recent changes in federal 
legislation have strengthened the ability of states to intervene in the collection of child support payments. 
States have begun taking stronger measures to recover payments, and to make public the names of those 
who are delinquent in their payments. New policies are being considered that would increase the father's 
motivation to make payments, perhaps by providing some tax incentive, or by working harder to help 
couples negotiate a voluntary support arrangement that might be easier to enforce and with which the 
partners are more likely to comply. 

Other laws, policies, and programs such as the family leave policy, social security and Medicare policies, 
welfare programs including WIC, ADC, food stamps, and subsidized housing, influence the ability of 
families to provide for their basic needs. Each of these policies, while offering some type of support to 
families, has eligibility features, limitations, and constraints that effect which families will take advantage 
of them. What is more, each policy can be evaluated for its costs and benefits to families as well as to the 
larger society. The current debate about welfare reform suggests that the objectives of many of these 
policies may not be fully realized, and that unintended negative consequences of some of the programs and 
policies make it impossible for some families to escape from poverty. Others argue that it is larger eco- 
nomic conditions, especially the growth or decline in the job market and the kinds of jobs that are available 
within a community, rather than specific government-sponsored family policies and programs that influence 
the growth of poveity for children and families (Aldous & Dumon, 1990). 

Families are not simply shaped by the legislative process of laws, policies, and programs. As voters and tax 
payers, they can influence the direction of this process. However, families have their greatest impact when 
they come together around a specific issue. One of the most notable examples has been the effectiveness of 

O 269 27? 

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a group called MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Accidental deaths, especially deaths as a result 
of automobile accidents, are a leading cause of death for young children and adolescents. MADD has 
been influential in increasing awareness of the extent of the problem; changing laws about penalties for 
drunk driving; and changing attitudes about identifying a designated driver. MADD has developed 
advertisements that illustrate the risks of drunk driving, educational initiatives that help young people 
understand these risks, and recommendations for ways to prevent drunk driving. They have taken a 
primary role in bringing this problem to the forefront for family, community, and legislative action. 

Another example is the involvement of grandparents in pursuing their rights to visitation with grandchil- 
dren following divorce. Many grandparents found that in the process of divorce, if their child became the 
non-custodial parent, then their access to their grandchildren was substantially reduced or denied alto- 
gether. Grandparents have taken steps to influence divorce policies so that they can retain their own 
visitation privileges with their grandchildren, regardless of the custodial role of their children. 

Families are influenced by global issues beyond the laws, policies, and programs of their own state or 
nation. Issues such as world hunger, wasted resources, water and air pollution, and the international 
economy all have the potential for affecting family life. Probably the most dramatic example of how 
global issues effect families is war. During wars, family members may be separated, injured, or killed. 
Homes and communities are destroyed. Schooling is disrupted. People may leave their towns and 
villages to escape violence, thus disrupting family and community bonds. We have seen the powerful 
effects of war on U. S. military families. Family members leave their loved ones to go off to war. Family 
members experience grief over separation. We note continuing chronic effects of having been in the war 
including exposure to health risks, and long-term stress reactions which may result in the inability to 
function normally upon return. Families of those MIAs (missing in action) have continued to press for 
further investigation about their loved ones. On the positive side, many soldiers experience a new sense 
of global consciousness as a result of their involvement. They bring a new world view to their families 
that alters their outlook on their own national citizenry. 

Ethical and moral issues that surface during a particular period of history affect families. In our own 
time, ethical debates about abortion; care of the elderly; school desegregation and busing; and the control 
of toxic wastes and environmental pollution are examples of issues that influence family decision making 
and can directly effect families. 

Some families are the targets of prejudice and discrimination in a community. This may have the impact 
of reduced self-esteem, reduced educational and economic opportunities, and a reduced sense of empow- 
erment to provide the kind of family life they desire. Some families are prejudiced. They try to maintain 
their own sense of self worth by degrading or negating others. They restrict their contact with other 
families, set very strict boundaries on family members, and function in a limited social sphere. Rather 
than coping with the true source of their conflicts and problems, they preserve a fragile equilibrium by 
displacing their anger and shame onto others. Families and communities suffer and stagnate when they 
are dominated by high levels of prejudice and discrimination. 




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Families can be exposed to institutional practices, such as sexism, racism, and ageism, as well as preju- 
dices against their ethnic group, socioeconomic status, religious background, or other characteristics. 
Long-held practices, often of an informal nature, preserve a preferential pattern of access and advance- 
ment that effects the aspirations, economic resources, and socioeconomic mobility of families. These 
patterns of institutional discrimination may be observed in schools, the workplace, the legal system, and 
in city, state, and local government. Families can challenge these practices, but it requires great personal 
determination and a willingness to challenge community norms to bring institutional injustices of this 
type to light. 



References 

Aldous, J., & Dumon, W. (1990). Family policy in the 1980s: Controversy and consensus. Journal of 
Marriage and the Family, 52, 1 1 36- 1 1 5 1 . 

Hareven, T. K. (1982). Family time and industrial time. New York: Cambridge University Press. 

Hareven, T. K. (1987). Historical analysis of the family. In M. B. Sussman & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.). 
Handbook of Marriage and the Family, New York: Plenum, p. 37-57. 

HoUoway, S. D., & Fuller, B. (1992). The great child-care experiment: What are the lessons for school 
improvement? Educational Researcher, 21, 12-19. 

National Commission on Children. (1993). Just the facts: A summary of recent information on 
American's children and their families, Washington, DC: National Commission on Children. 

Settles, B. H. (1987). A perspective on tomorrow's families. In M. B. Sussman & S. K. Steinmetz (eds.). 
Handbook of Marriage and the Family, New York: Plenum, p. 157-1 80. 

Teachman, J. D. (1991). Who pays? Receipt of child support in the United States. Journal of Marriage 
and the Family, 53, 759-772. 

V 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. (1991). Statistical abstract of the United States: /99/, (1 1 1th Ed.). Wash- 
ington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office. 




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Learning Activities 



1. Social and 
global issues 



Teacher Note: The activities under this section of the module can be conducted 
near the beginning of the Family Relations course. The Social Issues Affecting 
Families Assignment can be established as an ongoing project throughout the 
course, including not only the classroom presentation but FHA/HERO commu- 
nity service projects and Action Projects as well. Group presentations could be 
given at different times during the semester, depending on their relationship to 
other module topics. The activities under 2. Interdependent Relationship 
Between Families and Society and 3. Legislation and the Family could be 
culminating activities for the social issues project. 



On the chalkboard, list all the social issues you can think of that affect families. 
For each issue you identify, explain ways you believe that particular issue affects 
families. Read Social Forces Affecting Families (p. 280-281) and explain how 
the forces described on the handout might affect the social issues on your list. 

Discussion Questions 

• Do you see any of these social issues in your community? 

• How is your family affected by these forces? 

• Which forces do you see as negative and which are positive? 

Using Social Issues Affecting Families Assignment Sheet (p. 282), form 
cooperative groups and complete a social issues project. 



Teacher Note: Examples of social issues project ideas are included on 
Domestic Violence: Issues and Action (p. 283-284) and Gangs— What Can 
Families Do? (p. 285). Students could choose learning activities from these 
examples or apply the same learning activities to their chosen topic. 



c. In the cooperative learning groups you formed in the previous activity, choose a 
goal that is related to the family issue you selected for your project, such as those 
listed below. Identify as many alternatives as possible for achieving that goal. 
Share your alternatives with the class and identify one or two you would consider 
implementing. 



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(1) Eliminate poverty 

(2) End violence 

(3) Eliminate hunger 

(4) Implement technology 

(5) End the spread of AIDS 



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f . 



g. 



2. Interdependent ^* 
relationship 
between families 
and society 




Write a paragraph about what families will be like in the future. In small groups, 
share your paragraphs and develop a description of families in the year 2010. 
Explain how the issues affecting today's families you identified in Activity la 
will or will not be affecting families in the year 2010. 

Discussion Questions 

• Will future families be stronger? Healthier? Why or why not? 

• What issues will the families of the future face? 

• What will future families have in common with today's families? What will be 
different? 

• What ethical issues do your predictions create? 
Play The Great Exchange (p. 286). 
Discussion Questions 

• How did you decide what to keep and what to trade? 

• Were you surprised at what you ended up with? Why or why not? 

• Why did you choose to keep the items you did? How do these items represent 
what is most important to you ? 

• Did your choices change when money or time was an issue? 

• // you were doing this activity on behalf of your family, would you make the 
same choices? 

• What would happen if everyone made the same choices? 

• How would the choices you made impact social forces affecting families? 

FHA/HERO: Choose a social issue affec.> families and design a community 
service project focused on that issue. 

Action Project: Volunteer at a community agency that addresses a social issue 
affecting families. Keep a journal of your experiences and write a report summa- 
rizing the impact this agency is making with regard to this issue. 

Design a chart with two columns. On one side, list ways society affects families. 
On the other side, list ways that families affect society. Complete Forming Our 
World (p. 288). 

Discussion Questions 

• What would happen if families did not support society? 

• What would happen if society did not support families? 

• In what ways has society supported your family? 

• In what ways has your family supported the community? 



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b. Read The Family As A System (p. 289). Create a simulation of the concept of 
systems thinking by drawing circles to represent each system on the bottom of a 
rubber dish pan. Fill the pan with water and toss in objects of different size and/or 
weights to examine the ripple effect. Relate this simulation as to how an event in 
one system, and have an impact on other systems. An alternative simulation activity 
is to use a mobile to show how different types of movements affect all parts of the 
mobile. Answer the questions below. Share your responses with the class, 

(1) What are some things the political system does that affects the family? 

(2) What are some things families could do that could have an effect on the politi- 
cal system? 

(3) What are factors in the economic system that affect families? 

(4) What are ways that families could affect the economic system? 

(5) In what ways does out sociocultural system affect families? 

(6) In what ways do families affect the society or culture in which they live? 

(7) In what ways does technology affect families? 

(8) How can families take advantage of or affect the technological system? 

Discussion Questions 

• What do each of these systems contribute to the family system? 

• What does the family system contribute to the remaining systems? 

• What would happen to each of the systems if the family system did not exist? 




c. Design a bulletin board for the classroom entitled, "Families Can Make a World of 
Difference." Use a large globe and label it with global issues on which families can 
make an impact, such as those listed below. Add newspaper and magazine articles 
and case studies to the bulletin board with specific examples as to how families are 
making an impact on these global issues. 



(1) Abuse and family violence 

(2) Hunger 

(3) Poverty 

(4) Homelessness 

(5) Pollution and wasted natural resources 

(6) Education 

(7) Health 




3, Legislation a. In cooperative learning groups, research specific laws and public policies related to 
and the the issue affecting families you selected in Activity la. Examples of such issues 

family are listed below. Identify how the policies or laws related to this issue affect 

families and society. Explain whether or not you think the policies and laws are 
good ones and whether or not you would try to change them. Present your findings 
to the class. 

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(1) Divorce and child custody 

(2) Family violence 

(3) Health caie reform 

(4) Affirmative Action 

(5) Adoption (including adoption of children from a foreign country) 

(6) Food safety 

(7) Public assistance for families 
Discussion Questions 

• Why do you think each of the pieces of legislation you studied came about: 

• Is thj legislation you studied beneficial to families? If so, how? 

• Why should you be aware of legislation affecting families? 



Teacher Note: This activity should be a culminating experience for the social 
issues project described in Activity lb. Resources for the activity above can be 
obtained from your local Legal Aid Society or Bar Association. Librarians can 
also be helpftil in identifying resources in the school or community library. 



b. Obtain a copy of the Bill of Rights and identify rights guaranteed to citizens of 
the United States. Explain how each of these rights might apply to families. 

c. FHA/HERO: Invite a legislator, lobbyist, or community activist to class to 
explain the process of creating and changing legislation, and ways that constitu- 
ents can have an impact on that process. Following the presentation, choose one 
or more of the activities below. 

(1) Design a visual representation of the steps in creating legislation and making 
laws 

(2) Take a field trip to the State Legislature to meet with representatives and 
hear their views on issues related to families 

(3) Take a field trip to observe a trial in session that involves a family issue 

(4) Create a display on the legislative process involving a family issue 

(5) Develop a directory of current legislators and other elected officials from 
your area 



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Discussion Questions 

• Why is it important to be aware of how you as an individual can impact the 
legislative process ? 

• What is the most important thing your chapter learned about the legislative 
process? 

• Are legislators interested in your views as a future voter? Why or why not? 



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Prejudice 
and families 



d. Draft a letter to a legislator concerning your views on proposed legislation 
affecting families. In pairs, share letters and provide constructive feedback about 
writing a final draft. Send the letters and share any response you get from 
legislators. 

e. Action Project: Call a legislation hotline and determine the status of legislation 
on a family issue of interest to you. Write your legislator about the proposed bill. 
Keep a record of the response you get from your legislator, 

a. Using resources, define prejudice. Working with a Language Arts teacher, 

choose adolescent literature that reflects issues of prejudice, such as short stories, 
novels, or biographies. Read and react to the literature examples. Identify 
characteristics that can be used as the basis of prejudice, such as those listed 
below. View a videotape about an individual who has experienced prejudice 
(such as Ryan White or Stephen Beko) to gain an understanding of the impact of 
prejudice on individuals and families. 



(1) Gender 

(2) Age 

(3) Race 

(4) Socioeconomic status 

(5) Health or handicapping condition 

(6) Physical appearance 



Discussion Questions 

• What are the consequences of prejudice for families? For society? 

• Why do prejudicial attitudes exist? 

• How does it feel to experience prejudicial behavior? 

b. Design a discrimination box for the classroom. Create examples of situations 
when family members are affected by prejudice. Write the situations on index 
cards and place them in the discrimination box. Read Guidelines for Challeng- 
ing Racism and Other Forms of Oppression (p.290 ). Select cards from the 
box, read the situations aloud to the cla^s and describe the feelings that might be 
experienced by everyone involved in that situation. In small groups, select one 
of the situations and role play it for the class illustrating a response to prejudice. 
Following the role play, share your reasoning for deciding to resolve the situation 
as you did in the role play. 

Discussion Questions 

• How did you go about deciding how to respond to the situations? 

• What feelings were experienced? 




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^as the behavior in the role play ethical? Why or why not? 
What skills do families need to deal with prejudice? 
What are the consequences of persistent prejudice? 



Teacher Note: The above role play strategy is important for students to develop 
empathy and confidence in confronting prejudicial behavior. Emphasize that 
students must be advocates for themselves and others when they notice the 
dignity, equality, and safety of others is being violated by prejudicial behavior. 



Interview grandparents and older community members about prejudice and 
stereotypes that existed during their youth, how these have changeu *r time, 
new stereotypes that have occurred, and how they would compare attitudes of the 
youth of their era to those of today. Share your findings with the class. 



Discussion Questions 

• Which stereotypes and prejudices seem to be the same as those that existed 50 
years ago? Which seem to be different? 

• What causes stereotypes and prejudices to change over time? 

• What strategies can change stereotypes and prejudices? 



d. FHA/HERO: Survey your conununity regarding prejudice or stereotypes that 
might exist. Examine your findings and plan a community awareness project to 
highlight existing prejudicial behavior and suggest ways to overcome it. 

5. Career a. View Family Living and Social Services Careers (p. 291). In small groups, 

opportunities make a list of skills needed for these jobs. Identify things that you have learned 
or skills you have developed in this Family Relations class that could help you 
succeed if you chose one of these careers. 



b. Using information from the U. S. Department of Labor, identify statistics about 
the fastest-growing jobs for the next ten years. Display in the classroom and 
identify those that are related to strengthening or supporting families. In coop- 
erative learning groups, choose one of the careers and research information 
about education and training needed, salary ranges, opportunities for advance- 
ment, and professional responsibilities associated with that career. Share your 
findings with the class. 




Discussion Questions 

• What are the consequences of selecting one of these careers? 

• How do each of these careers assist families? 

• Are you interested in entering any of these careers? Why or why not? 




Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



C 



c, FHA/HERO: Invite a panel of professionals who work in various careers 
related to families. Ask panel members to share information about their careers 
and their experiences in dealing with families. 

Discussion Questions 

• What are the rewards of the various careers represented on the panel? The 
drawbacks? 

• What education and training is required for these jobs? 

• How do these career choices impact families? 

(i. Action Project: Choose a career of interest to you and research information 
about that career. Job shadow a professional in the field and interview that ^ 
person about his or her job. Develop a written report of your findings. 



Paper and Pencil 

1. Identify at least five social forces that influence families. 

2. Identify t interdependent relationship between families and society by describing three ways that 
families influence society and three ways that society influences families. 

3. Given examples of laws and public and private policies, analyze how each affects families by 
identifying the consequences of that law or policy on families. 

4. Identify at least two ways that families can become proactive in the legislative process. 

5. Evaluate global issues affecting families by identifying at least three consequences for each issue. 

6. Identify at least three ethical and moral issues affecting families. 

7. Given case studies, analyze how the economy affects families in each situation, 

8. Given case studies, analyze how prejudices affect families in each situation. 

9. Develop at least two strategies to address societal forces that influence families. 
10. Identify at least three career opportunities that impact families. 



Assessment 



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Classroom Experiences 

1. In cooperative learning groups, choose a social issue affecting families and complete a written report 
and oral presentation about that issue. 

2. Write a paragraph about what families will be like in the future. 

3. In cooperative learning groups, choose an issue affecting families and research the specific laws and 
policies related to that issue. Identify how the policies or laws related to this issue affect families and 
society. Explain whether or not you think the policies and laws are good ones and whether or not you 
would try to change them. Present your findings to the class. 

4. Draft a letter to a legislator concerning your views on proposed legislation affecting families. In 
pairs, share letters and provide constructive feedback about writing a final draft. Send the letters and 
share any response you get from legislators. 

5. Interview grandparents and older community members about prejudice and stereotypes that existed 
during their youth, how these have changed over time, new stereotypes that have occurred, and how 
they would compare attitudes of the youth of their era to those of today. Share your findings with the 
class. 

6. In cooperative [earning groups, choose a career related to families and research information about 
education and training needed, salary ranges, opportunities for advancement, and professional respon- 
sibilities associated with that career. Share your findings with the class. 

Application to ReaMife Settings 

1. Volunteer at a community agency that addresses a social issue affecting families. Keep a journal of 
your experiences and write a report summarizing the impact this agency is making with regard to this 
issue. 

2. Call a legislation hotline and determine the status of legislation on a family issue of interest to you. 
Write your legislator about the proposed bill. Keep a record of liie response you get from your 
legislator. 

3. Choose a career of interest to you and research information about that career. Job shadow a profes- 
sional in the field and interview that person about his or her job. Develop a written report of your 
findings. 



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Social Forces Affecting Families 



A. Diversity is increasing, both ethnic diversity and diversity in living arrangements. 

B. Changing employment opportunities. Globalization, technological advances, etc. are 
changing employment opportunities, (e.g., fewer unskilled/semi-skilled jobs, more ser- 
vice jobs). Greater need to "anticipate" job changes (average of four to five times during 
working lifetime; second and third careers becoming more common) and budget dollars 
and time for job training, retraining, and transitioning. 

C. A vera ge household size down. Average household size down (3 .67 in 1 940; 2.65 in 1 99 1 ) ; 
increase in very young and elderly living alone; more single parents and more dual-career 
families with partners working in different locations. 

Also increase in multi-generational households (boomerangs). 

D. Elde ly population increasing. More families need to address a wide variety of issues 
relating to "planr.ing for growing old." 

E. More children with parents in the workforce. Increasing numbers of these children are 
cared for by an adult who is not a relative. Children are becoming increasingly isolated 
from adults and their problems. Two-income couples are seldom available to discuss adult 
problems in the children's hearing. 

F. More children live in povert:^. In 1 970, 5 percent of children lived in poverty as compared 
to 15.4 percent in 1990. 

G. Family structures are becoming more diverse. In periods of economic ^lifficulty, children 
and grandchildren move back in with parents and grandparents to save on living expenses. 
Growing numbers of grandparents are raising their grandchildren, partly because drugs 
and AIDS have left the middle generation either unable, or unavailable, to care for their 
children 

Among the poor, grandparents are also providing live-in day care for the children of single 
mothers trying to gain an education or build a career. Yet, the nuclear family' is also 
rebounding, as baby-boom parents adopt "family values" and grandparents retain more 
independence and mobility. 

H. Societal values are changing rapidly. The "me" ethic of the 1980s has already been 
replaced by the "we" ethic and a new "family" ethic has begun to appear. Family issues 
will dominate the 1 990s: long-term health care, day care, early childhood education, anti- 
drug campaigns and drug-free environments. 



Source: Data compiled by Joyce Fittro, Ohio State University Extension Specialist, Delaware County. Principal resource: World 
Future Society, An American Renaissance In Tite Year 2000: 74 Trends That WiV Affect America *s Future. Bcthesda, Maryland. 



(continued) 



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Social Forces Affecting Families (continued) 



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I. Women *s labor rate keeps rising. Employment rate of women keeps rising (57.5 percent 
in 1990, 62 percent by 2000); more women starting small businesses; two-income couples 
becoming the norm (38 percent in 1980; 47 percent in 1991; 75 percent by 2000). 
"Housework" an increasing challenge (average employed woman spends 26 hours per 
week doing household woric in addition to paid employment). 

J. More workers earning less, Ohio unemployment (January, 1 99 1 ) stable at 6. 1 percent with 
U. S. at 6.7 percent. Rising percentage of those working full time but earning less than the 
poverty level for a four-person family. Single heads of households increasingly common- 
many are the "hew poor"; trend toward lower wages (especially for young workers and 
those without college degrees). 

K. Greater income variability, U. S. family median income down. Smaller share of income 
going to poor families, larger share going to affluent. Greater financial struggles for low- 
income families; greater tax pressures on middle- and higher-income families to assist poor 
' and to support an increasing array Of "public" needs. Continuing financial challenge to 
"make ends meet;" higher financial "pressures" can trigger a complex of other challenges 
(emotional, physical, and social). 

L. The work ethic is vanishing from American society. Tardiness is increasing. Sick leave 
abuse is common. Job s^jcurity and high pay are not the motivators they once were. In a 
1992 poll of the under-thirty population, 38 percent said that being corrupt was "essential" 
in getting ahead. 

M. Technology will increasingly dominate both the economy and society. Personal robots will 
appear in the home by 20(X). 

N. The nutrition and wellness movements will spread, raising life expectancy. Since the turn 
of the century, every generation has lived three years longer than the last. In this generation, 
better diet, exercise, and the new emphasis on prevention will extend that to five years. By 
2050, look for a breakthrough in aging research to provide 1 15 to 120 years of vigorous 
good health. 

O. Greater linkage of computers with global telecommunications networks in the next three 
to five years. Seventy percent of U. S. homes will have computers by 2001 compared to 
30 percent now. Families will use coynputers to vote, file income tax returns, purchase 
products, take classes, and manage financial accounts. Portable computers will give 
families wireless access to networked data wherever they go. Access likely to be limited 
for some limited-resource families. 

P. Americans will regain their leisure time in the 1990s, and then some. Computerized 
manufacturing will result in a shorter average work week. 



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Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



Social Issues Affecting Families Assignment Sheet 

About This Assignment 

This assignment is designed to help you think critically about a social issue affecting families. It is a 
cooperative project to be completed by your Family Relations Research Team. Your project activities 
should result in 

• A written report between four to six pages in length 

• An oral presentation on the topic to the class 

• Additional project activities to be designed by your group» such as 

— Posters or displays about the topic for your classroom, school, or community 

— Research into legislation and policies related to your issue 

— Written contact with legislators or community activists regarding your issue 

— FHA/HERO community service projects designed around your issue 

— Action projects related to your issue 



Steps in Planning Your Project 

1 . Cooperatively select a current issue relating to the family. 

2. Establish the goals for your project, including goals for your written report, oral presentation, and 
additional activities. 

3. Write an action plan for achieving these goals, explaining each group member's role in complet- 
ing project activities. Some activities may be done by all members of the group, while other 
activities may be done by only one member. For example, the work for the written report and 
oral presentation may be divided as follows: 

All — Read and do research 
Take notes 

Write a section of the paper 

Present a section of the oral presentation 
Manager — encourages, divides paper into sections keep all on task 
Recorder — collect notes and make outline 
Reporter — coordinates the oral presentation 
Reference Person — compiles reference list 

4. Turn in written action plans to your teacher. 



Assessing the Assignment 

Working with members from other groups, establish the criteria you will use to assess your work at the end 
of the project. Generate a list of criteria, which may include some of the areas of assessment listed below. 
Assign point values or develop rubric scoring for each criteria. Following the project, assess your work using 
the criteria. Compare your assessment of the project with your teacher's assessment of your work. 



Group Cooperation and 
Attainment of Project Goals 

• Shared Responsibility 

• Fulfilled Individual Duties 

• Resolved Conflict 

• Good Use of Resources 



Quality of 
Written Paper 

• Substance 

• References 



Oral 

Presentation 

• Substance 

• Creativity in 
E^esentation 

• Quality of 
Presentation 



Additional Project 
Activities 

• Meaningful to Issue 

• Sufficient in Quantity 



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1^ Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



Page 1 of 2 

Domestic Violence: Issues and Action 

If you chose domestic violence as the subject of your T'ocial Issues Affecting Families 
Assignment, the sample learning experiences below are possible project activities. Select 
those activities that will help your group meet the project requirements and achieve your 
group goals. 

Collect newspaper and magazine articles about the issue of domestic violence. Create a 
poster to illustrate the problem. Highlight statistics that illustrate the scope of the 
problem. Interview a representative from a local shelter for victims of abuse or from a 
social service agency to identify local statistics, explain the impact of this problem on 
families and on the community, and identify services available for victims of abuse. 

Think about . . . 

• Why should we be concerned about domestic violence? 

• What are the consequences of this problem for individuals, families, and society? 

• What knowledge do we need to take action about this problem? 

Divide the topics listed below among your group members and use classroom and 
community resources to research each topic. Develop a class presentation to share your 
information, including ways to creatively present your findings to the class. 

1 . Types of abuse (such as verbal, sexual, economic, and emotional) 

2. The cycle of abuse 

3. The use of power and control in abusive families as opposed to healthy families 

4. Reasons why family members might stay in abusive relationships (such as 
economics, children, societal expectations, denial, fear, or low self-esteem) 

5. What happens to family members who are raised in violent homes 

6. Strategies for dealing with domestic violence in a family (such as sources of 
support, community resources, and legal recourse) 

Think about ... 

• Does this information confirm or conflict with what you previously knew about 
domestic violence? 

• Why is it important to understand this infonnation as we decide what to do about 
domestic violence? 

• How will this information influence our actions? 



(continued) 



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Domestic Violence: Issues and Action (continued) ^ 

Make a list of statements that reflect beliefs or standards that perpetuate the problem of 
domestic violence. Examples are listed below, though you may be able to think of others to 
add (A helpful resource for this activity is Violence Against Women: Opposing Viewpoints 
Seriesy Greenhaven Press, San Diego, California, 1994).). Assign one of the statements to 
each member of your group and critique it by identifying the short-term and long-term 
consequences of this belief or standard on the issue of domestic violence. Write a new 
statement related to that belief or standard that would support the prevention of domestic 
violence. Share your list of consequencc> and new statement with the rest of the group. 

1. Hitting others is an acceptable way to express feelings of anger or stress. 

2. The male is "master of the castle" and can use that power to control other members 
of the family or treat them as servants. 

3. Children need their father even if he is violent. 

4. Occasional incidents of battering are probably not serious and should not be 
considered abuse. 

5. A woman who is battered by her husband probably deserved it. 

6. Domestic violence is mostly a problem in low-income minority families. 

Think about . . . 

• Are each of these beliefs or standards in our best interest? The best interests of 
families? Why or why not? 

• Do these beliefs or standards have more positive or more negative consequences? 

• What do the new beliefs or standards you have written have in common? 

• How can these new beliefs or standards support the prevention of domestic 



As an FHA/HERO activity, interview a representative from the local prosecutor's office that 
deals regularly with domestic violence cases. Ask the representative to highlight the state and 
federal laws affecting domestic violence issues and explain the process involved in investi- 
gating and prosecuting such cases. Think about . . . 

• What problems do local officials face in investigating and prosecuting domestic 
violence cases? 

• Do the penalties for domestic violence fit the crime? Why or why not? 

• What are the consequences of the existing laws for individuals? Families? Society? 

As an FHA/HERO activity, plan a lo<.al service project to raise money or collect needed items 
for an abuse shelter in your community. 

As an Action Project, call a legislation hotline and determine the status of legislation 
regarding domestic violence. Write a letter to state or federal legislators about your views 
on the proposed legislation. Send the letter and. keep a record of return responses. 



violence? , 



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Gangs-What Can Families Do? 

If you chose street gangs as the focus of your Social Issues Affecting Families Assignment, the sample learning 
experiences below are possible project activities. Select those, activities that will help your group meet the project 
requirements and achieve your group goals. 

Select a videotape that tells a story about street gangs. Show the videotape, or excerpts of it, to your class. 
Following the tape, make a chart and list the consequences of gang involvement for individuals, families, and 
society. Think about . . . 

• V/hy should we be concerned about gang involvement? 

• V/hat might happen if gang involvement continues to grow in our country? 

• What knowledge do we need to take action about this problem? 

Divide the topics listed below among your group members and use classroom and community resources to 
research each topic . A good reference for this activity is Gangs-What Can Parents Do ? by Dan Bond, Deb Drain, 
& Suzanne Simonson, Snohomish County Gangs Task Force, Everett, Washington. You should also be able to 
find many articles in newspapers and magazines such as Time, Newsweeky and U. 5. News & World Report. 
Develop a class presentation to share your information, including ways to creatively present your findings to the 
class. 

1 . Definition of gangs (a group of individuals who associate together for a common purpose, usually to the 
exclusion of others, and participate in criminal and anti-social activity) 

2. The activities of gangs (claim turf, have gang names, have gang colors, use hand signs, do graffiti, dress 
in a particular manner, use tattoos, participate in criminal activity) 

3. Why young people say they are attracted to gangs, such as 



sense of family 

involvement in something 

respect-people look up to you 

there is nothing to do 

protection/security 

sense of belonging 

status 



easy and cheap access to drugs 

friendship 

excitement 

curiosity 

ignorance 

media promotes and glamorizes gang members as heroes 
self-esteem — makes me feel like someone important 



4. 
5. 



• money 
Possible signs of gang involvement 

What families can do to prevent family members from feeling the need for gang involvement 



Think about . . . 

• Does this information confirm or conflict with what you previously knew about street gangs? 

• Why is it important to understand this information as we decide what to do about street gangs? 

• How will this information influence our actions? 

Invite a panel of community members to class to discuss what is being done in your community to deal with gang 
involvement. Panelists might include law enforcement officers, social workers, former gang m;in*.bers, or 
community activists such as parents taking action against gangs in the community. Develop a set of questions 
to ask panel members. Think about . . . 

• What problems do local officials face in dealing with gang involvement? 

• What action is being taken by community activists concerning gang involvement? 

• What are the consequences of these actions for the individuals, their families^ and society? 



Call a legislation hotline and inquire about legislation that may be pending (such as gun control, law enforcement, 
or control or illegal substances such as drugs that may effect gang involvement). Write a letter to legislators 
explaining your position on the pending legislation. 



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The Great Exchange 



The purpose of this game is to think about what is important to you in relation to families, and how those 
values might influence your response to social issues affecting families. 

Preparation: Make The Great Exchange Cards (p. 287). If possible, make each type of card a different 
color. Distribute five of each card to each player. 

Goal of the Game: To trade cards with other players to obtain the most number of cards of the item you 
most value. After the exchanges, you will have an opportunity to discuss the factors that influence your 
values in relation to families. 



Trade your cards to obtain the most number of cards of the item(s) you most value. Stop trading after two 



As a group, assign an amount of time to each type of card (for example, fonr hours for investing in time 
with family, and one hour for personal time). Based on the time you would like to spend with regard to 
the topic on each card, trade your cards to obtain the most number of cards based on how you would most 
like to spend your time.^ Stop trading after two minutes. 

Keep and make a record of the cards you have at the end of the round. 



As a group, assign an amount of money to each type of card. Based on the cost of the items on each card, 
trade your cards to obtain the most number of cards according to how you would most like to spend your 
money. Stop trading after two minutes. 

Keep and make a record of the cards you have at the end of the round. 




minutes. 



Keep and make a record of the cards you have at the end of the round. 





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The Great Exchange Cards 



TECHNOLOGY 

• Computers 

• High Tech 
Equipment 



CHILDREN 
• Represents the 
number you would 
Hke to have 



INCOME 
•Earned 
• Inherited 



TIME WITH FAMILY 
• Recreation 
•Work at home 



GOODS AND SERVICES 
• Goods 
•Car 
•Clothes 
•Food 



PERSONAL TIME 

• Recreation 

• Physical health 

• Emotional well-being 



CAREER 
INVOLVEMENT 

• Local 

• Growth/Challenge 



HOUSING 
•Materials 

• Space 

• Style 



287 

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I Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



Forming Our World 



Study the chart below. In small groups, discuss the questions below. Share your responses with 
the class. 



C THE WORLD Q 

( SOCIETIES ) 

Form 

( FAMILIES ) 

Form 

C INDIVIPUALS ) 

What would be the effect on families, on our society, and on the world if • • • 

1. No families had children? 

2. Most families had six to eight children? 

3. There were no laws? 

4. All families were concerned about the kinds of laws we have and worked to see that laws 
protecting families and children were enacted? 

5. There was a world war? 

6. A large number of families did not have the financial resources to provide basic needs for family 
members? 

7. Families taught family members to look out for themselves without thinking of the consequences 
of their behavior on others? 

8. High-quality child care were provided for all working parents? 

9. T here were no child abuse? 

10. Families taught children to conserve our natural resources? 



Adapted from: West Virginia Department of Education. Parent Education Curriculum. Ripley, West Virginia: West Virginia 
^ Technology Resource Center* 1990. 

ERIC 201 



Family Relations 



I Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 

The Family as a System 



A system includes objects and events that are related in their purpose and depend on each other to 
function. All the parts of a system are interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent. A change 
in one part of a system can affect several things at once. 

The family system includes all members of a family and their roles and responsibilities. Activities 
a family does to support each other, such as meeting physical needs or needs for love and belonging 
as part of that system. 

In the diagram, several other systems are included that have an impact on the family system. 



Political 
System 



1 



Technological 






Parents/ 




Economic 


System 






Children 




System 



I 



Sociocultural 
System 



The political system includes government activities and such as education, public services, and 
courts. Regulations and laws established by state, federal, and local governing bodies are a part of 
this system. 

The technological system includes machines, computers, television, and telephones. 

The economic system includes the world of paid employment, and organizations that offer goods 
and services for sale. Wages and pric^*.s ?re determined by this system. 

The sociocultural system includes the ideas, beliefs, values, and customs or traditions of a culture. 

These systems interact to influence each other. For instance, government passes laws that affect 
families. In turn families provide the economic support for government through taxes. 



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Family Relations 



Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



Guidelines for Challengiiig Racism 
and Other Forms of Oppression 

1 . Challenge discriminatory attitudes and behavior! Ignoring the issues will not make them go away and 
silence can send the message that you are in agreement with such attitudes and behaviors. Make it clear that 
you will not tolerate racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual jokes or slurs, or any actions that demean any person 
or group. Your intervention may not always take place at the exact time or place of the incident, but it must 
be addressed promptly. 

2. Expect tension and conflict and learn to manage it Sensitive and deep-seated issues are unlikely to 
change without some struggle and in many situations, conflict is unavoidable. Face your fears and 
discomforts and remember that tension and conflict can be positive forces that foster growth. 

3. Be aware of your own attitudes, stereotypes, and expectations and be open to discovering the limitations 
they place on your perspective. We have all been socialized to believe many myths and misconceptions and 
none of us remain untouched by the discriminatory messages in our society. Be honest with yourself about 
your own prejudices and biases. If you do not know something, or are not sure how to handle a situation, 
say so, and seek the information or help that you need. Practice not getting defensive when discriminatory 
attitudes or behaviors are pointed out to you. 

4. Actively listen to and learn from others* experiences. Don't minimize, trivialize, or deny people's 
concerns and make an effort to see situations through their eyes. 

5. Use language and behavior that is non-biased and inclusive oi all people regardless of race, ethnicity, 
sex, disabilities, sexual orientation, class, age, or religion. 

6. Provide accurate information to challenge stereotypes and biases. Take responsibility for educating 
yourself about your own and other's cultures. Do not expect people from different backgrounds to always 
educate you about their culture, history, or to explain racism or sexism to you. People are more willing to 
share when you take an active role and the learning is mutual. 

7. Acknowledge diversity and avoid stereotypical thinking. Don't ignore or pretend not to see our rich 
human differences. Acknowledging obvious differences is not the problem, but placing negative value 
judgments on those differences is! Stereotypes about those differences are always hurtful because they 
generalize, limit, and deny people's full humanity. 

8. Be aware of your own hesitancies to intervene in these kinds of situations. Confront your own fears 
about interrupting discrimination, set your priorities, and take action. Develop response-ability! 

9. Project a feeling of understanding, love,and support when co;3fronting individuals. Without preaching, 

state how you feel and firmly address the hurtftil behavior or attitude vhile supporting the dignity of the 
person. Be non-judgmental but know the bottom line. Issues of human dignity, justice, and safety are non- 
negotiable. 

10. Establish standards of responsibility and behavior and hold yourself and others a<rcountable. 

Demonstrate your personal and organizational commitment in practices, policies, and procedures, both 
formal and informal. Maintain high expectations for all people. 

11. Be a role model and be willing to take the risks that leadership demands. Reflect and practice anti-bias, 
multicultural values in all aspects of your life. Demonstrate that you respect and value the knowledge, 
talents, and diversity of all people. 

1 2. Work collectively with others, organize, and support efforts that combat prejudice and oppression in 
all it*s forms. Social change is a long-term struggle and it's easy to get discouraged, but together wc have 
the strength and vision to make a difference. 



ERLC 



Written by Patti DeRosa, Cross-Cultural Consultation, 28 S. Main Street #177, Randolph, MA 02368; 1994. 

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Analyzing Social Forces Affecting Families 



Family Living and Social Services Careers 

If you enjoy working with others and are interested in the social needs of people, you may 
wish to consider a career in one of the areas listed below. These careers address needs of 
individuals and families, groups, and conmiunities. A person pursuing one of these careers 
will need a whole range of skills, from human relations skills to organizational expertise. 
Qualities of tact, assertiveness, compassion, sensitivity, and good judgment will be 
important. 

Jobs That Require Technical Training 

Child care paraprofessional Police officer 

Family consultant-speaker 

Home health aide 
^ . Y 1 T 1. Homeless shelter director 

Entry Leveljobs Homemakef saide 

Babysitter Licensed practical nurse 

Camp counselor Personnel worker 

Child care aide 
Nursing aide 
Nursing home attendant 
Recreation assistant 



Public health educator 
Social service worker 
Substance abuse counselor 
Teacher's aide 
Youth organization worker 



Jobs That Require a Bachelor's 

Adoption attorney 
Child psychologist 
Counselor 

Director, Battered Women Task Force 
Displaced Homemaker Coordinator 
Employment counselor 
Extension Agent 

Family and consumer science specialist 
Family lawyer 
Family therapist 
Genetic counselor 
Geriatric nurse or physician 
Guidance counselor 
Home-care hospice nurse 
Human development educator 



Degree or More 

Marriage counselor 
Minister 

Occupational therapist 
Pediatric nurse 
Pediatrician 
Physical therapist 
Probation officer 
Psychologist 

Recreation director for retirement home 

Refugee resettlement director 

Religious educator 

Social worker 

Sociologist 

Family life teacher 

Youth director 



ERLC 



Source: Audrey P. Riker and Holly E. Brisbane. Married and Single Life Teacher Resource Book. New York: Glcncoc Division, 
Macmillin/McGraw-Hill, 1992. 

''2 c- 4